Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bevacizumab-Irinotecan Treat Deadly Brain Cancer

Recent studies by Duke's Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, have showed that having the drug bevacizumab (brand name Avastin) and the standard chemotherapy agent irinotecan can help patients with one of the deadly tumor in the brain, the giloblastoma multiforme.

The treatment result shows that it could not only help prolong but it could also increase the rate of survival of those patients with giloblastoma multiforme.

Dr. James J. Vredenburgh, the lead of investigation said “These results represent tremendous hope for these patient and their families.”

He noted that 75 percent of patients with recurrent giloblastoma multiforme treated with standard therapy, such as chemotherapy alone, have tumor progression at six months, and fewer than 50 percent are alive after six months.

The study included 35 patients whose giloblastoma multiforme s returned after they'd had standard therapy, possibly including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. After the patients received the combination bevacizumab/irinotecan therapy, almost half had no tumor progression after six months, and 80 percent were still alive six months after diagnosis.

"We speculate that bevacizumab and irinotecan each attack a particular characteristic of the tumor independently, or they work together, with bevacizumab suppressing the growth of blood vessels which makes the tumor more susceptible to the chemotherapy. Further studies will tease out the exact mechanism of the therapy's success," Vredenburgh added.

We will be expecting more from this kind of therapy soon. And thus this would bring hope to those people out there having giloblastoma multiforme.

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