Brain cancer survival improved following FDA approval of bevacizumab, study finds

A new population-based study has found that patients with glioblastoma who died in 2010, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of bevacizumab, had lived significantly longer than patients who died of the disease in 2008, prior to the conditional approval of the drug for the treatment of the deadly brain cancer. Bevacizumab is used to treat patients with certain cancers whose cancer has spread. The study appears in the journal Cancer.

"There has been a great deal of debate about the effectiveness of bevacizumab in treating patients with glioblastoma," says lead author Derek Johnson, M.D., a neuro-oncologist at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "Our study found that, at the population level, treatment strategies involving bevacizumab prolonged survival in patients with progressive glioblastoma."

Researchers analyzed data on 5,607 adult patients from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database before and after the conditional approval of bevacizumab for the treatment of glioblastoma in 2009. The SEER database covers 18 geographic areas of the U.S., which collectively represent 28 percent of the U.S. population.

Researchers studied survival in 1,715 patients with glioblastoma who died in 2006, 1,924 who died in 2008 and 1,968 who died in 2010. "The difference in survival between 2008 and 2010 was highly significant and likely unrelated to any advancements in supportive care," Dr. Johnson says. "This study provides the strongest evidence to date that bevacizumab therapy improves survival in patients with glioblastoma."

Glioblastoma, is an in which tumors grow rapidly and spread rapidly to new sites. It is the most common in adults and accounts for about 22 percent of all brain cancers. About 3,000 people develop a glioblastoma each year in the U.S.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Probability of long-term glioblastoma survival assessed

May 28, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Although the overall mortality rate of glioblastoma is high, compared with patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, those who survive two years or more after diagnosis have a favorable conditional ...

Recommended for you

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

3 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

Early hormone therapy may be safe for women's hearts

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Healthy women at low risk of cardiovascular disease may be able to take hormone replacement therapy soon after menopause for a short time without harming their hearts, according to a new study.

Low yield for repeat colonoscopy in some patients

13 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Repeat colonoscopies within 10 years are of little benefit to patients who had no polyps found on adequate examination; however, repeat colonoscopies do benefit patients when the baseline examination was compromised, ...

Cell's recycling center implicated in division decisions

15 hours ago

Most cells do not divide unless there is enough oxygen present to support their offspring, but certain cancer cells and other cell types circumvent this rule. Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have now identified ...

User comments