An experimental cancer drug named bevacizumab (trade name Avastin) is the first "anti-angiogenesis" drug to prove that it can shrink tumors and extend survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, according to a national clinical trial led by researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Bevacizumab is known as an anti-angiogenesis drug because it blocks the formation of blood vessels in tumors (a process called angiogenesis) and thus inhibits their growth.
Patients who received bevacizumab together with standard chemotherapy survived a median of five months longer than patients who received standard chemotherapy alone, the study showed. A five-month life extension is quite significant, given that patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer survive an average of 15 to 17 months, said Herbert Hurwitz, M.D., lead investigator of the study and an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.
Becky Levine | DukeNews
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