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Conquest - Fall 2013


Bevacizumab fails newly diagnosed 
glioblastoma patients

By Laura Sussman, William Fitzgerald and Sandi Stromberg


Mark Gilbert, M.D.
Photo: Medical Graphics
and Photography

Before a trial led by Mark Gilbert, M.D., professor in Neuro-Oncology, no Phase III, randomized, double-blind study had been conducted with this drug in glioblastoma. Findings from this trial were significant and highlighted at the plenary session of ASCO.

“When we launched the study, those in the field of brain cancer — both the scientific and patient communities — were excited,” he says. “Bevacizumab had recently received approval for recurrent disease, and we knew some physicians were already giving it as frontline therapy, even with virtually no data to support that decision. It was important from a patient care and regulatory standpoint that we conduct this trial.”

Results showed that bevacizumab failed to increase overall survival (OS) — or statistically significant progression-free survival (PFS) — in newly diagnosed patients. However, Gilbert stresses that the study still found the drug had some use in managing the disease.

“Ultimately, our study showed that bevacizumab has the same benefit whether given early or late, and, because of the risk of extra toxicity upfront, its use can be reserved as a later treatment for most patients,” he says.    

    Related story: A drug. A disease. Three studies. Four investigators.

See MD Anderson's Newsroom and Cancer Frontline for more information on these and other basic, translational and clinical research findings at MD Anderson.

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