Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drug that cuts off a tumor’s blood supply shows promising results when paired with chemotherapy

30.12.2002


An experimental drug designed to cut off a tumor’s blood supply showed promising results in patients with advanced colorectal cancer when paired with standard chemotherapy, according to a UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.



The results of this and subsequent studies of the experimental drug Avastin could change the way oncologists treat patients with this devastating form of cancer, said Dr. Fairooz Kabbinavar, a Jonsson Cancer Center researcher and first author of the peer-reviewed journal article. The combination of Avastin and chemotherapy proved superior to chemotherapy alone in treating advanced colorectal cancer, Kabbinavar said.

"This is a first-ever randomized trial of a potent anti-angiogenic agent, comparing chemotherapy alone to chemotherapy and Avastin in patients with advanced colorectal cancer," said Kabbinavar, an associate professor of hematology/oncology at UCLA who has studied this drug in the lab and in patients for the last decade. "This study could give us a less toxic and a more effective weapon in our growing arsenal of cancer therapies."


A tumor cannot grow bigger than a pinhead unless it establishes an independent blood supply through a process called angiogenesis to provide itself with oxygen and nutrients. Researchers theorize that by stopping or cutting off the new blood supply, they can starve and, they hope, kill the cancer.

In this study by UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center researchers and scientists at four other sites nationwide, the angiogenesis inhibitor Avastin was given with the chemotherapy drugs fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin in a two-pronged attack. Researchers hoped that Avastin -- a monoclonal antibody that targets the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, a protein that promotes growth of blood vessels -- would help the chemotherapy work more effectively, and vice-versa, providing a synergistic effect.

Results from laboratory and early-phase studies confirm that the drugs help each other to work better, Kabbinavar said.

Patients in the Phase II study detailed in the journal article who received Avastin with chemotherapy had better response rates and median survival times than did patients who were given chemotherapy alone. In addition, those who received the combination also had a longer time before their cancer progressed and had lower levels of a colon cancer marker in their blood than did patients who received chemotherapy alone, Kabbinavar said.

"The patients who got Avastin and chemotherapy did better in all the parameters we use to measure efficacy," Kabbinavar said. "This is a promising study that provided strong enough results to move on to a large Phase III study involving 1,000 patients."

The Phase III study, also conducted at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and other sites nationwide, was recently completed. Results are expected sometime next year and should provide researchers with a more definitive answer, Kabbinavar said.

"Our hope and our expectation is that the data will hold true in the larger study as well," Kabbinavar said. "This drug combination may prove to be an important new option for patients with newly diagnosed metastatic colorectal cancer."

Avastin and other angiogenesis inhibitors attack cancer differently than do conventional therapies. Chemotherapy works like a non-specific bomb inside the body, attacking all fast-growing cells and often resulting in debilitating side effects such as nausea, hair loss and a dangerous drop in white and red blood cell counts. Angiogenesis inhibitors fight cancer by preventing or cutting off the blood supply that tumors must have to thrive and spread.

In this Phase II study, 104 patients with untreated, advanced colorectal cancer were given Avastin and chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone. Median survival was increased from about 13 months in patients who received chemotherapy alone to about 21.5 months in patients who were given Avastin and chemotherapy.

Median time to progression, or the time until the cancer grows again after treatment, was increased from 5.2 months in the chemotherapy only group to 9 months in the group receiving Avastin and chemotherapy.

Response rates also were better, with 40 percent of the group getting the combination therapy showing a significant response to the drug, versus 17 percent who responded to the chemotherapy alone.

And patients who received the combination therapy had a 54 percent lower risk of disease progression than did those on chemotherapy alone.

"These preliminary results suggest that Avastin, in combination with 5-FU and leucovorin, increases response rate, prolongs time to progression and prolongs survival," the article states. "These data support further evaluation of the efficacy and safety of Avastin."

Colorectal cancer will strike about 148,000 Americans next year alone, according to the American Cancer Society. More than 56,600 people will die from the disease.

Advanced colorectal cancer is incurable, Kabbinavar said. Most patients die within a year, so it’s vital to find new and better ways to treat this disease.

"It’s important for patients with advanced cancers to talk to their oncologists to see if there are any clinical trials available," he said. "They need to be proactive and seek out all options."

For more information on Jonsson Cancer Center studies, call 888-798-0719.

Kim Irwin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cancer.mednet.ucla.edu/
http://www.ucla.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>