Avastin: new treatment for cervical cancer

Avastin (bevacizumab) has been approved for the treatment of persistent, recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix, in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan in patients who cannot receive platinum.

Avastin (bevacizumab) is also indicated for the treatment of bowel, ovarian and breast cancers. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Avastin (bevacizumab) is also indicated for the treatment of bowel, ovarian and breast cancers. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Approval of bevacizumab for use in advanced cervical cancer was based on the results of a phase III study in 452 patients with persistent, recurrent or late-stage disease. 

In this study, addition of bevacizumab to combination chemotherapy was associated with a significant increase in median overall survival of 3.7 months (17.0 months vs 13.3 months; hazard ratio for death 0.71, 98% CI 0.54–0.95, p=0.004).

Overall, the safety profile was consistent with that seen in previous studies of bevacizumab across different tumour types. An increase in gastrointestinal-vaginal fistulae was observed in patients who received bevacizumab plus chemotherapy compared with those who received chemotherapy alone.

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