SABCS: Avastin Provides No Benefit Against Breast Cancer


Adding the anti-angiogenesis drug Avastin to standard adjuvant therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer does not improve invasive disease-free survival (iDFS), according to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

These results, when published in a peer-reviewed journal, should end the clinical investigation of the drug and all its similars against breast cancer.

The trial

Results from the BETH trial (Bevacizumab and Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer) were presented at the symposium by UCLA's Dennis Slamon, M.D., Ph.D., and involved 3,500 patients (median age 51) with early-stage HER2-positive, node-positive breast cancer or high-risk node-negative disease.

Patients were given either non-anthracycline or anthracycline-containing chemotherapy and trastuzumab. They were then randomized to Avastin (bevacizumab) or no additional therapy. The primary endpoint was iDFS, with secondary endpoints including overall survival and toxicity, among others.

Treatment results

The median follow-up was 33 months, and investigators found that whether or not the patient received Avastin made absolutely no difference in iDFS or in overall survival.

The only difference was in toxicity: Patients getting Avastin had higher rates of high blood pressure, bleeding and heart failure. In terms of grade 3 or 4 adverse events, they had an incidence rate of 27 percent, compared to just 8 percent in the group that did not receive Avastin.

"All these anti-angiogenic strategies have really not impacted survival in breast cancer," Slamon said, according to MedPage Today. "There may still be something there if we were able to find the right markers, but, so far, they have all come out negative for any impressive survival advantage."

Source: MedPage Today


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