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A study has revealed that a drug used to treat bowel, breast and lung cancer could help prolong the lives of women suffering from ovarian cancer.
New findings released at the ESMO in Milan congress found that adding Avastin (bevacizumab) to chemotherapy can slow the development of ovarian cancer, which kills more than 4,000 women a year in the UK.
The study showed that adding Avastin to chemotherapy can enable women to live for 18.3 months without their disease getting worse compared with 16 months for those given chemotherapy alone.
The phase III trial on Avastin, led by a UK team and involving 1,528 patients, follows the success of a US trial which reported earlier this year. It concluded that women with ovarian cancer had an extra four to six months of life without disease progression when taking Avastin and chemotherapy.
The latest trial involved a lower dose and a shorter course of treatment and included women with high-risk early stage as well as advanced ovarian cancer, but the results has encouraged manufacturer Roche to submit a licence application to the European Medicines Agency later this year.
Copyright Press Association 2010