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Monoclonal Antibody Infusion
Bevacizumab (Avastin®)
In May 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first angiogenesis inhibitor for the treatment of brain cancer. This drug, called bevacizumab (Avastin®), suppresses tumor vessel growth by neutralizing the VEGF protein. Bevacizumab is administered by intravenous infusion every two weeks in patients whose disease has worsened during prior chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. In a clinical study, bevacizumab combined with chemotherapy either shrank brain tumors or halted their growth in almost 60% of patients with relapsed brain cancer.3

A larger study confirmed the activity of bevacizumab in glioblastoma. In this trial, 50% of patients who received bevacizumab plus chemotherapy had no significant worsening of their disease (known as progression-free survival, or PFS) after 6 months of treatment.4 By contrast, the PFS rate for patients who receive only the standard chemotherapy drug for brain cancer is typically less than 20%. Bevacizumab treatment also reduced the requirement for steroids to control brain swelling, which is an important benefit.

Bevacizumab has also shown promising activity as a first-line therapy for glioblastoma. A clinical study was conducted in 70 newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients who were treated with standard front-line therapy (temozolomide and radiotherapy) plus bevacizumab. In this trial, almost 90% of patients had no worsening of their tumors at 6 months, and almost 60% were progression-free at one year.5 By way of comparison, less than 30% of brain cancer patients who receive standard chemotherapy and radiation are progression-free after one year.6


Last updated June 6, 2011