SUNDAY, May 19, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Is bevacizumab the next super drug to fight cancer? The jury's still out, but there are some encouraging signs.
Government researchers say they've found that the drug -- currently the subject of a number of clinical trials -- significantly slows the growth of malignant tumors in kidney cancer patients.
High doses of bevacizumab stalled tumor growth considerably, according to National Cancer Institute researchers who conducted randomized clinical trials of the drug.
The study results were presented today at the American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting in Orlando, Fla.
This phase II trial included 116 patients with advanced metastatic renal cell carcinoma and no known effective treatment options. They were randomly selected to receive either a placebo, a low dose (3mg./kg.) of the drug or a high dose (10mg./kg.).
The tumors in people who received the high dose of drug took two-and-a-half times longer (5 months compared to 2 months) to show measurable growth than did those in people who didn't receive the drug, the researchers say.
Bevacizumab targets the angiogenic process -- that's the growth of new blood vessels that provide a supply of oxygen and nutrients to a growing tumor. More than 20 clinical trials are underway to evaluate bevacizumab as a treatment for various types of cancer.
Liver cancer has always had a high mortality rate. This information from a U.S. National Institutes of Health site, Cancer.gov, offers a clear explanation as to why liver cancer is so insidious.