More disappointing news on Avastin

I include this news because I know that some people are trying hard to get avastin. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article reported that avastin in a trial did not improve overall survival in metastatic breast cancer when added to taxol, although it did improve progression-free survival.

To find the abstract, paste this into google:

“Paclitaxel plus Bevacizumab versus Paclitaxel Alone for Metastatic Breast Cancer”

The reports on Avastin are not encouraging - dreadful side-effects and limited effectiveness.

At least for metastatic breast cancer. It did much better for bowel cancer, but the dose needed for treatment was much lower. It would be nice if they had some way to target another receptor besides the hormonal or her2 receptors for breast cancer, but this drug just isn’t ready yet.

I get a bit worried that patients can mistake hype for hope. I have been around long enough to remember Abraxane, a much stronger taxane, which got rid of the need for steroids but when metastatic patients started using it in the US they started reporting intolerable neuropathy.

There are other things in the pipeline that might work better. Perhaps PARP inhibitors will pan out.