New drug 'could delay ovarian cancer'

29 December 2011

A new drug could be used to delay the effects of ovarian cancer, a latest study has revealed.

Researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Programme at the University Health Network and Timothy Perren, from St James's Institute of Oncology in Leeds, found that the drug bevacizumab, which is also known as Avastin, may slow down the disease as well as improve survival.

The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, noted that Avastin halted the cancer's return for two months for most cases, but up to six months for women with a higher-risk form of the disease.

Led by Dr Amit Oza of the Princess Margaret Cancer Programme, the researchers looked at 1,528 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer from 2004 and expect to continue analysing the results until 2013.

"This is the first new drug in ovarian cancer in 15 years to improve outcome and I believe it should be considered as a potential new standard of care," Dr Oza said.

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, surgery is the foremost treatment for ovarian cancer and this is often followed by chemotherapy to ensure the diseased cells are killed.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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