New Combination Prolongs Survival in Previously Treated Patients with Advanced Colorectal Cancer
Previously treated patients with advanced colorectal cancer who received the anti-angiogenesis agent bevacizumab (Avastin) in combination with an oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)-based chemotherapy regimen lived longer than patients who received chemotherapy alone, researchers announced yesterday. The Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) overseeing the NCI-sponsored clinical trial in which the patients were enrolled, E3200, recommended that the results of a recent interim analysis be made public because the study had met its primary end point of demonstrating improved overall survival.
Patients in the trial who received the combination of bevacizumab and a chemotherapy regimen called FOLFOX4 (oxaliplatin, 5-fluorouracil, and leucovorin) had a median overall survival of 12.5 months compared with 10.7 months for patients treated with FOLFOX4 alone, a 17 percent improvement. Combination therapy patients had a 26 percent reduction in the risk of death compared with those who received chemotherapy alone. Read more
Progress on HPV Vaccine Offers Great Hope to Developing Countries
Data published earlier this month have created an opinion among many in the public health and research communities that we are on the brink of significantly eliminating the threat of cervical cancer. This would be a public health boon to many developing countries, which bear the brunt of the 230,000 annual deaths from this cancer.
According to the results of a phase II clinical trial published earlier this month in The Lancet involving more than 1,100 women, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was safe and effective at preventing viral infections, as well as the abnormalities in the cells often associated with them. The vaccine targets two HPV types, 16 and 18, which together cause about 70 percent of all cervical cancers. Although the women in the Lancet study were only followed for 27 months, the study provides evidence that immunization with this type of HPV vaccine can confer a high degree of protection against infection with specific types of HPV and could be a valuable tool in the battle against the primary cause of cervical cancer. Encouragingly, similar results with longer follow-up were reported a few weeks ago at an American Society of Microbiology meeting with an HPV vaccine that targets HPV type 16. Read more