Addition to ovarian cancer standard treatment extends survival

28 Mar 2015

Overall survival for women who received standard chemotherapy treatment plus bevacizumab was five months longer (median value) than for women who received the standard chemotherapy treatment alone. This is according to a new study.

Trial comparing standard vs combination treatment

The phase 3, randomized, controlled trial included 748 women with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer. A total of 374 women received the standard chemotherapy treatment of paclitaxel and carboplatin. Another 374 received the chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and carboplatin, plus bevacizumab. Both arms received paclitaxel and carboplatin for six cycles and the study arm patients continued with bevacizumab maintenance. Unlike previous ovarian clinical trials of bevacizumab, this study's primary endpoint was overall survival.


After the analysis of the data, the lead author Robert L. Coleman, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston commented that this trial offers the necessary tools towards the improvement of overall survival in ovarian cancer patients. In particular the analysis showed:

  • Median overall survival for woman in the chemotherapy plus bevacizumab treatment was 42.2 months, compared with 37.3 for those receiving chemotherapy alone.
  • The period of time before ovarian cancer recurred (called progression-free survival) improved by nearly 3.5 months with the additional drug.
  • The risk reduction for progression and death were 39% and 17%, respectively.

Expected but not serious side effects

Some expected side effects, including gastrointestinal damage and joint pain, were observed but none that suggested a significant safety concern. The ongoing study will assess quality of life for women receiving the additional drug and the role of secondary surgery before chemotherapy.

In 2014, the FDA approved bevacizumab with chemotherapies for the treatment of women with platinum-resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer.


Source: Science Daily

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