Avastin Continues to Show Impressive Results in Ovarian Cancer

Avastin appears to reduce relative risk of disease progression in recurring ovarian cancer.

The phase 3 OCEANS study showed benefit with Avastin (bevacizumab) in women with a recurrence of ovarian cancer successfully treated with a platinum drug. Women with epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancers that have recurred after more than six months were given standard chemotherapy of gemcitabine and carboplatin with or without Avastin. Those in the Avastin arm continued on Avastin until their disease progressed.

After a median of two years, the Avastin arm had a median progression-free survival of 12.4 months compared with the chemo-only arm of 8.4 months. Avastin cut the relative risk of disease progression in half (52 percent). Addition of Avastin also improved the incidence of tumor shrinkage, increasing from 57 percent to 79 percent. It’s still too early to show an overall survival benefit in the trial, but current data suggest Avastin may provide an advantage. This is the third large trial that shows Avastin’s benefit in ovarian cancer, and submission for FDA approval in newly diagnosed patients and for recurrent cancers is forthcoming. Researchers said next steps would be to combine Avastin with chemotherapy for cancers not responding to platinum drugs, as well as combining Avastin with PARP inhibitors, an investigational class of targeted agents that have also shown success in ovarian cancer.