Reportedly Avastin (bevacizumab) can stabilize tumors in ovarian cancer, claimed two independent groups (Fox Chase Cancer Center and International Collaboration on Ovarian Neoplasms) working with advanced-stage cases.
Researchers claimed that Avastin can stabilize tumors in women suffering from advanced-stage ovarian cancer, extending the period before the disease worsens by more than 3.5 months.
Researchers said, "Though Avastin has not been shown to prolong the lives of women with ovarian cancer and does come with significant side effects, it offers some hope for treating what remains the deadliest of gynecologic cancers."
The prognosis of ovarian cancer is very bad because it is usually found after it has already spread to other organs. Surgery can remove only some of the tumors, and the two chemotherapy drugs most commonly used are not very good at killing the cancer cells left behind.
However, Avastin acts as a biological antibody that interferes with a growth factor that cancer cells need to grow new blood vessels. When it is used with chemotherapy, the drug helps keep cancers that have metastasized from growing and spreading.
Avastin has some serious side-effects, including an increased risk of hypertension and gastrointestinal wall disruption, when a hole develops in the gastrointestinal tract. High cost of the drug is another problem. This Genentech Inc. drug can cost about $50,000 to $100,000 per year.
The findings are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.