Recently, researchers found that the extensively used drug Avastin can help keep ovarian cancer at repressed if used for a prolonged time. Avastin, which is made by the Genentech unit of Roche, reduces the speed of the development of the blood vessels that provide nourishment to tumors. It is probably the best-selling drug and has already been approved for treating colorectal, breast, lung brain and kidney cancers.
There was another study that was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology which revealed that men who had high-risk prostate cancer lived longer if they were treated with radiation along with hormone-blocking drugs.
Also, a drug created from a marine sponge has been found to prolong the lives of women who have advanced breast cancer to about two and a half months.
The ovarian cancer study included 1,873 women who had recently been diagnosed with Stage 3 or Stage 4 ovarian cancer who had also had surgery to take out as much cancer as possible. The women were given either standard chemotherapy and a placebo, standard chemotherapy and Avastin, or standard chemotherapy and Avastin along with about 10 months of Avastin alone.
It took an average of 14.1 months for the cancer to get worse for those who received the extended Avastin treatment, compared with 10.3 months for those who were given just the standard chemotherapy and the placebo. Markedly better results were not achieved with the short-term use of Avastin than with standard chemotherapy alone.
There were 1,200 men involved in the prostate cancer study. Their disease had spread to the area around the prostate or they had other high risk factors like a high PSA level. During the trial, 74 percent of the men who had undergone the radiation therapy were still alive after seven years, compared with 66 percent of the men who had been given only the hormone therapy.
The drug, Eribulin, derived from the marine sponge, was tested in a study of 762 women with metastatic breast cancer. The women who were given Eribulin lived an average of 13.1 months, compared with 10.7 months for the women who received the drug that their doctor chose.