Avastin Extends Survival Rate for Throat Cancer
Taking bevacizumab, the drug sold as Avastin, may help to extend survival in some throat cancer patients. According to MedPage Today, a study from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York found that patients who took Avastin had a two-year overall survival rate of 91 percent and a progression-free survival of 75 percent.
The benefits were observed in a study of patients who took the drug in addition to standard cancer care, including chemotherapy and radiation. Study leader Nancy Lee added that no adverse side effects were reported.
“No grade three or four hemorrhagic adverse events were observed with this combination,” Lee said. “The overall survival we observed was favorable when compared to historical data.”
Perhaps the most exciting effect of Avastin is its ability to stop throat cancer from spreading. According to MedPage Today, despite advances in treatment, distant metastasis has continued to be one of the toughest aspects of throat cancer to beat. Metastasis was responsible for 30 percent of the deaths occurring from throat cancer, the report said.
“So further research is needed to identify those at risk of distant metastasis and hence those who might benefit most from additional bevacizumab,” Lee’s team wrote in the study, which was published online in the Lancet.
Avastin is also currently being tested as a way to shrink tumors in women with early-stage breast cancer, ABC News said.