Avastin approved for recurrent ovarian and related cancers

Avastin (bevacizumab) has been approved for the treatment of recurrent ovarian and related cancers.

The initial infusion of bevacizumab must be given over 90 minutes to minimise the risk of a hypersensitivity reaction.

A phase III double-blind placebo-controlled trial (AVF4095g) in 484 patients showed that the monoclonal antibody improved outcomes in this setting when added to standard platinum-based chemotherapy (carboplatin plus gemcitabine).


Patients who had histologically documented disease recurrence within 6 months of previous platinum-based chemotherapy and had not received carboplatin or gemcitabine in the recurrent setting were included in the study. Those who had received prior therapy with bevacizumab or other VEGF-targeting agents were excluded.

Patients received a standard backbone of carboplatin and gemcitabine plus either placebo or bevacizumab 15mg/kg by intravenous infusion every 3 weeks at the same time as the chemotherapy for 6-10 cycles, then continued as monotherapy until disease progression.

Survival benefit

Median progression-free survival based on investigator assessment using modified RECIST criteria (the primary endpoint) was significantly higher in the bevacizumab group than in the placebo group: 12.4 vs 8.4 months (p<0.0001). Similar results were observed when the primary endpoint was independently reviewed.

View Avastin drug record
Further information: Roche

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