Tarceva and Avastin for lung cancer – pro

After encouraging initial reports, a phase III trial found a combination of Avastin and Tarceva did not extend lung cancer patients’ survival, Roche Holding AG and Genentech was cited by Reuters as saying on Tuesday October 7, 2008. The trial included 120 patients. One group was treated with standard chemotherapy consisting of Taxotere® (docetaxel) plus Alimta® (pemetrexed), a second group was treated with Taxotere/Alimta/Avastin, and the third group was treated with Avastin plus Tarceva.

However, addition of bevacizumab to erlotinib as first-line therapy yielded a significantly extended progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with advanced EGFR-mutation–positive non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a new phase II study. Results from the randomized, open-label trial were presented at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The European Commission has approved the use of Avastin® (bevacizumab) in combination with Tarceva® (erlotinib) for the first-line treatment of adult patients with unresectable advanced, metastatic or recurrent non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)-activating mutations.

The pivotal phase II JO25567 study showed a statistically significant 46 percent relative reduction in the risk of disease progression or death (median PFS: 16.0 months versus 9.7 months; [HR]=0.54, p=0.0015) for people treated with the combination of Avastin plus Tarceva compared to Tarceva alone.1 Avastin and Tarceva each target pathways which are known to be key drivers in the development and growth of tumours. The beneficial effect of Avastin plus Tarceva is supported by results of other clinical studies which showed the combination was effective and tolerable.

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Fehrenbacher L, O’Neill V, Belani CP, et al. A phase II, multicenter, randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab in combination with either chemotherapy (docetaxel or pemetrexed) or erlotinib hydrochloride compared with chemotherapy alone for treatment of recurrent or refractory non-small-cell lung cancer. Proceedings of the 42nd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Atlanta, Ga. June 2-6, 2006. Abstract # 7062.

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