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Herceptin, Xeloda, Avastin Help Breast Cancer Patients

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

New data being presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) show that Herceptin (trastuzumab), Avastin (bevacizumab) and oral Xeloda (capecitabine) continue to offer new and better treatment options for breast cancer patients allowing women to live longer or remain disease-free for longer if the medicines are given before and after surgery as well as in advanced stages of disease.

Key data being presented include:

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- Herceptin before surgery: Results from the NOAH (NeOAdjuvant Herceptin) phase III study showed that women with locally advanced HER2-positive breast cancer who started a combination of Herceptin and standard chemotherapy prior to surgery had a significantly greater chance of living free of their disease (event-free survival) three years after initiation of treatment as compared to women who were receiving pre- operative chemotherapy alone.

- Xeloda in early breast cancer: Early data from an independent study in Finland and Sweden indicate that the chemotherapy pill Xeloda, which is already proven in advanced breast cancer, may also reduce the recurrence of early breast cancer and help women live longer. This is one of 20 Xeloda abstracts that have been accepted for presentation during SABCS.

- Avastin in advanced breast cancer: First efficacy results from the largest ever safety study of Avastin in a real-life setting, which involved more than 2,000 patients with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer, confirm that Avastin can be used with a broad range of chemotherapy treatments giving patients a median of almost 10 months without their disease getting worse. The results, which are one of 24 separate Avastin data presentations during SABCS, confirm that Avastin based therapy is essential for improving the lives of women with advanced breast cancer.

"Researching new cancer treatments is a complex step by step process. Each success helps lay the foundation for the next step forward," said William M. Burns, CEO Division Roche Pharmaceuticals. "These results show that we are making significant progress towards giving doctors and their breast cancer patients better and more effective treatment options to fight this devastating disease at all stages," he added.