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24.08.2007 – 11:40

Roche Pharmaceuticals

Avastin Approved in Europe for First-line Treatment of Patients With Advanced Lung Cancer

Basel, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire)

- First Medicine Shown to Extend Survival Beyond One Year in
Previously  Untreated Lung Cancer Patients
Avastin (bevacizumab), Roche's innovative anti-cancer drug, was
approved today in Europe for the first-line treatment of patients
with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in combination with
platinum-based chemotherapy.
NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer, a difficult to treat
disease that kills over 3,000 people per day worldwide.(1) NSCLC is
usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, meaning individuals diagnosed
with the disease typically have a life expectancy of only 8 to 10
months.(2),(3)  Avastin is the only first-line therapy to demonstrate
improved survival  benefits beyond one year in patients with advanced
The approval is based on data from the pivotal US phase III trial
(E4599) and the 'Avastin in Lung' (AVAiL) phase III trial. Both
studies demonstrate that Avastin is effective for the treatment of
patients with NSCLC in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy.
The approval is for the use of Avastin at a dose of 7.5 or 15 mg/kg,
in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy, for the first-line
treatment of patients with unresectable advanced, metastatic or
recurrent NSCLC other than predominantly squamous cell histology. The
broad label that Avastin has received for the treatment of NSCLC
allows the combination of Avastin with any platinum-based
chemotherapy regimens (for example, together with taxanes or
gemcitabine) at the choice of the physician.
Professor Christian Manegold, Professor of Medicine at Heidelberg
University, University Medical Center Mannheim, Germany and Principal
Investigator of the AVAiL trial, was enthusiastic about the news:
"Lung cancer is an extremely difficult disease to treat and Avastin
has proven that it can prolong the life of patients with NSCLC. A
treatment like Avastin that breaks through the one year survival
barrier is a big step forward. The European approval for Avastin
means we can reassess our expectations for lung cancer patient
Avastin is the first and only anti-angiogenic agent which has been
shown to consistently deliver improved overall and/or
progression-free survival for patients with colorectal, lung, breast
and kidney cancer.
About the Phase III studies that formed the basis of the approval
E4599 study
The results of the randomised, controlled, multicentre phase III
E4599 study of 878 patients with locally advanced, metastatic or
recurrent NSCLC, with histology other than predominant squamous cell,
show that median survival of patients treated with Avastin at a dose
of 15 mg/kg every three weeks plus chemotherapy was 12.3 months,
compared to 10.3 months for patients treated with chemotherapy alone.
Patients receiving Avastin in combination with paclitaxel and
carboplatin had a 25% improvement in overall survival compared to
patients who received chemotherapy alone. Side effects were generally
manageable. Pulmonary haemorrhage/ haemoptysis cases were observed in
2.3% of the patients receiving Avastin plus chemotherapy. The most
common adverse events associated with Avastin therapy were:
hypertension (5.6%), proteinuria (4.2%), fatigue (5.1%) and dyspnoea
AVAiL study
In the double-blind, randomised, controlled, phase III AVAiL
study, patients received treatment with either Avastin at 7.5mg/kg or
15mg/kg + cisplatin/gemcitabine or placebo + cisplatin/gemcitabine.
The study involved more than 1,000 patients world-wide with
previously untreated advanced NSCLC, with histology other than
predominant squamous cell. The results show that by adding Avastin to
a cisplatin/gemcitabine regimen progression-free survival was
significantly prolonged by 20 to 30% compared with chemotherapy
alone. No new or unexpected adverse events were observed.
All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by
Additional information
To access video clips about Avastin, in broadcast standard, free
of charge, please go to:
(1). Kamangar F, et al. Patterns of cancer incidence, mortality,
and prevalence across five continents: defining priorities to reduce
cancer disparities in different geographic regions of the world. J
Clin Oncol 2006; 24(14): 2137-50.
(2). Schiller JH, et al. Comparison of four chemotherapy regimens
for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med 2002;346:92-8.
(3). Sandler A, et al. Paclitaxel-Carboplatin Alone or with
Bevacizumab  for Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2006:355;
(4). Data on file. Roche, 2006


For more information please contact: Roche, Erica Bersin,, Galliard Healthcare, Dominic Elliston,
+44-(0)207-663-2266 (direct),

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