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 NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>