trial results on avastin

I’ve just seen information on bcmets about the results of a second phase 3 study of avastin plus taxotere. The results are announced by the drug manufacturer Genentech and will be presented tomorrow at the ASCO meeting by David Miles of Mount Vernon Hospital.

The results show that pateints with her2- advanced breast cancer who recieved avastin pus taxotere had improved progression free survival over those who received taxotere alone.

Data on overall suvival is stll awaited in 2009.

The trial enrolled patients who had not received other chemotherapy for their metastatic disease.

I think these results look cautiously optimistic but not spectacular…but that’s my very unscientific reading. I want the overall survival data and also want to know what impact avastin actually has on advanced breast cancer where other chemotherapies have failed???

Here’s a link to the trial results:

Would love to hear anyone’s thoughts. I’m someone with few treatment options left (done AC, taxotere, xeloda, vinorilbine, carboplatin and gemzar) though with progression still not in major organs and ‘only’ showing regionally.



Its interesting reading

Really the differences are so small if I read it correctly (have I read it correctly?) for the median progression free survival,

8.8 vs 8.7 avastin
vs 8.0 if you have taxotere,

Obviously I want that extra 21 or 24 days without progression…but it seems like I don’t have a case for being annoyed with my onc for not providing this for me…I still think it might be worth chasing it as we all hope to be on the better side of the median, but not sure it will become readily available as results are not spectacular.

not sure if this is any help Jane, more off ramblings…


Hi Cathy

My understanding of stats is not good. Yes I think you have read it correctly but elsewhere in the article it says after one year 83% and 78% in the avastin arms were alive and 73% in the chemo only arm.

No I don’t think the results are good enough for avastin to become readily available…and nor would I go to the barricades for it…but there’s always that seed of hope that a particular drug might be our own little miracle and that we might do massively better than the median. There’s that wonderful article called the Median is not the message…author escapes me right now.

What are we doing churning through this stuff at 11pm on a Saturday night! Hope you’ve had a drink or two as I have.


Jane -

you are so right about saturday evening.

I am now having glass of wine with my husband after slightly difficult day with my son (long story)…

Good point about 73% vs 83 % - thats worth picking up and is better that the 21 days…to me that is statistically significant and more important that the PFS stats.


Median is not the Message = Steven Jay Gould.

Glad you read the Avastin articles, Jane - I thought of you as I read them.

I believe there is reason to be optimistic about this drug. It seems to me that there is usually around 30% chance of a chemo or hormonal treatment working and I think Avastin will probably prove to be at least this effective for a certain subset of BC patients - if not all - who try it.

Reading new BC research is the new ‘going out’. 1/2" left in my glass of red - then bed.


Lisa’s cancer is so fast growing (IBC) … her one brain tumour doubled in size from 1.5 cm to 3cm in 3 weeks for example and the lump on her back seemed to pop up all of a sudden and was double the size in a couple of weeks… really really scary … so when she was offered Avastin and Taxol we grabbed at it. After 3 Taxol and only 2 Avastin both tumours and an area in her spine have greatly shrunk. Even the Onc was surprised. We can actually see the one on her back and so witness it for ourselves. This has given Lisa so much hope and we wonder how long she would have without it at the speed the cancer was growing. I don’t know how much longer Avastin will give Lisa but anything at the moment is a bonus the way things were going. The Onc did say that he has noticed that often an aggressive cancer does respond really well to Avastin and also chemo. He also added that Avastin works very fast.
Any hope is better than no hope so maybe Avastin will give this to lots of people even if not a ‘wonder’ drug it could keep women alive long enough for them to introduce another drug. When talking to the chemo nurse I asked what would happen at the end of the year of Avastin and she simply said that there is so much going on at the moment with research that there could be something else around by then. She said this with an almost knowing smile. Our Onc told Lisa that in 10 or 15 years he believes that a lot of cancer will be controllable … like diabetes … even if not curable.
So maybe drugs like Avastin will help keep some women alive long enough to see this.
Sue x

Thank you, Jane, for this. It confirms me in my thinking that my next step is not to go for Avastin as there are still treatments which I have not yet tried. It does seem to be something to consider if and when everything else is failing.

Thanks Phoebe.

One of the problems in making sense of all this is that the trials have I think all been on using avastin as first line treatment for metastatic bc. I don’t think there have been any trials on using it as second or third line after other drugs have failed though I know many in the US and a few here are getting it for second and third line treatment outside trials.

Its so hard to know what to believe or…eventually do…


Hi to everyone
I think most of you are aware that I started avastin in Feb my liver was full of lots of clusters and my liv function was poor. After 6 tax 4 avastin I had 50% shrinkage I had another scan after 6 t 4 avastin and 10% shrinkage I have been taken off taxol and will remain on avastin until it no longer benefits me.
So I am doing my own trail and when I stop posting that will probably mean I have stopped breathing.
As the taxol has floored me and it has only been 2 wks since I stopped I have not been well enough to get on my soap box but I dont think it will be long as I am feeling better each day. It is so unfair that they have not started trials for people who have had several chemos maybe that will happen soon. I am sure the figures would be more encouraging.
Ayway I have been told I am in bonus time so I intend to enjoy it and also make sure avastin becomes more available.

Love Debsxxx