Data backs Avastin as second-line treatment

Genentech is back with more news on Avastin. And this time the data points to the drug as a strong candidate for second-line breast cancer treatment. In a late-stage study evaluating Avastin in combination with chemotherapy, patients experienced an increase in progression-free survival. The Ribbon 2 study involved 684 women with mestatic HER2-negative breast cancer who had been previously treated. "Yet another test result that boosts broad-spectrum cancer drug Avastin's reputation" said Wegelin analysts Marco Schwender and Martin Koch. "Even if there is occasional criticism of the drug, the positive aspects clearly outweigh this."  

Avastin is approved to treat lung, colon and breast cancers. It's Roche's best seller, with annual global sales reaching $4.8 billion. Earlier this month, the drugmaker got the FDA greenlight to market Avastin for kidney cancer and just last month, the EMEA approved a broader label allowing Avastin to be used in combination with the chemotherapy docetaxel as a first-line treatment for mestatic breast cancer.

- read the Roche release
- here's the Reuters article