New researchers reveal that Avastin treatment can extend the life of cervical cancer patients, improving their chances to beat the disease. Currently patients affected by cervical cancer receive chemotherapy, which has limited successful rates, but the new Avastin (bevacizumab) can improve the results and help cure this type of cancer.
In spite of the vaccination campaign against cervical cancer, the number of women developing the disease had risen by 15% in UK, in the last decade. Approx. 1000 women died of cervical cancer in 2011 and this is the most common type of cancer in women under 35 years of age.
Longer Life Expectancy
The studies conducted on patients with grade IV cervical cancer involved adding Avastin to the traditional chemotherapy mix. This added up to 4 months to the life expectancy of women with last stages of cervical cancer. This is a significant result as it translates into expanding the life of patients by 30%, compared to chemotherapy only treatment.
The addition of targeted treatment with Avastin to the chemotherapy increased the number of responsive patients by a third, from 36% to 48%. These patients did suffered side effects from the Avastin, but they were previously documented and did not interfere with the patient’s life more than chemotherapy already does.
Common Side Effects
Among the most common side effects experienced by the patients who received Avastin were diarrhea, abdominal pains, high blood pressure and fatigue. All can be either treated with specific therapies or pills and are already experienced by patients who undergo chemotherapy.
At this time Avastin did not received a license for advanced cervical cancer treatment, but researchers struggle to obtain it, as any improvement in a patient diagnosed with terminal cancer is important and may save lives.
One of the oncologists at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, dr. Mary McCormack said: “There is a desperate need for more treatment options for advanced cervical cancer, so it is very encouraging to see that Avastin given with chemotherapy extends survival by four months without compromising patients’ quality of life.”
Avastin to be use in Brain Cancer
Studies were also made on the effect of Avastin over brain cancer glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer which has a low survival rate and a short life expectancy after it is diagnosed. Researchers discovered that Avastin can help patients preserve their neurological functions longer. Also it can slows down the fast progression of the disease. Avastin does not have a license in brain cancer glioblastoma.