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Avastin Continues to Demonstrate Long Term Survival for Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

-   Avastin Shows Unprecedented Patient Benefits Regardless of K-Ras  Status, Age and Chemotherapy Choice


BASEL, Switzerland, Sept. 12, 2008 /CNW/ - Avastin's (bevacizumab) essential role in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), the world's second most common cancer, was strengthened at the 33rd European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting with a compelling data set including: 


-   the final overall survival analysis of a 2,000 patient community-

    based study 

-   further analyses of the Avastin and cetuximab combination study

    highlighting K-Ras findings 

-   strong and consistent outcome for elderly patients on Avastin-based


Long-term overall survival reported from First BEAT(1) 

The long term benefits of Avastin use in combination with chemotherapy were confirmed in the 1,965 patient First BEAT study, which combined Avastin with commonly used chemotherapies in mCRC. First BEAT data confirmed: 

-   Avastin-based therapy delivers a median overall survival benefit of

    approximately two years (22.7 months). 

-   Patients who received Avastin plus chemotherapy and underwent

    complete resection (surgical removal) of their tumor had double the

    chance of surviving at 2 years compared to those who did not

    (89% versus 44%, respectively). 

-   Importantly, long-term Avastin treatment did not increase the risk of

    patients suffering from Avastin-specific side effects, which were

    consistent with those reported in other clinical trials. 

K-Ras findings from Avastin and cetuximab combination study to be


On September 14, key K-Ras findings will be presented at ESMO on Avastin-based treatment plus or minus cetuximab from the CAIRO-2 study. These findings are expected to complement the recently reported data confirming that Avastin is the only biologic that significantly improves survival in patients with mCRC regardless of the patient's K-Ras gene mutation status. 

-   Specifically, the data showed that patients with the normal

    (wildtype) K-Ras gene had an 82% increase in the time they lived

    without their disease getting worse and a 57% improvement in overall

    survival when given Avastin and chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy


-   Similarly, Avastin-based therapy improved outcomes in patients with

    mutated K-Ras compared to chemotherapy alone by increasing the time

    patients live without their disease getting worse by 69% and

    extending life by 46%.


Avastin's survival benefit in mCRC is unmatched in patients with either normal or mutated K-Ras. Up to 50% of patients will have a mutated form of K-Ras, where many other treatments have been shown to provide no benefit. 

Age does not matter; Avastin works in all patients(3) 

A new analysis of 4 key trials which included more than 3,000 patients showed that the benefits of Avastin-based therapy are independent of age. Considering that the majority of colorectal cancer patients are over 65 years in age, the magnitude of this finding becomes clear. The analysis demonstrated: 


-   Patients on Avastin-based therapy that were under 65 years old had a

    70% increased chance of being alive without their disease advancing

    compared to those on chemotherapy alone. If the patient was 65 or

    older this chance increased slightly to 72%. 

-   Furthermore, these findings were not impacted by the physician's

    choice of chemotherapy to use with Avastin. 

In January 2008, Avastin received a broad label in the EU allowing it to be used in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy for first and later treatment lines in patients with mCRC. This means that virtually all patients with metastatic colorectal cancer have access to Avastin's benefits. 

Presentation of key data - further details: 

1.  E. Van Custem et     Safety and efficacy of             September 14

    al                   bevacizumab plus standard

                         first-line chemotherapy in        12.30 - 13.30

                         patients with mCRC: First BEAT        (CET)

                                                           Poster area A 

2.  J.Tol et al          Randomized phase III study of      September 14

                         capecitabine, oxaliplatin and

                         bevacizumab with or without       12.30 - 13.30

                         cetuximab in advanced CRC, the        (CET)

                         CAIRO-2 study of Dutch CRC group  Poster area A 

3. J. Cassidy et al      Effect of bevacizumab in           September 14

                         patients over 65 years of age

                         with mCRC                         12.30 - 13.30


                                                           Poster area A

Posted: September 2008