Avastin Update

August 10, 2012

Dear Friends,

I want to provide a brief update on Avastin, a treatment for patients with glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer.

In early August, Genentech released information from their Avastin Phase III study in people with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. The study showed that Avastin, used in conjunction with standard radiation and temozolomide, met the study’s co-primary endpoint of significantly improving progression free survival (PFS) compared to the use of just radiation, temozolomide and placebo.

Hal Barron, Genentech’s Chief Medical Officer, said, “This study showed that people with glioblastoma, a particularly devastating and aggressive cancer without many treatment options, lived significantly longer without their disease worsening when Avastin was added to radiation and temozolomide chemotherapy.”

Data for overall survival (OS), the other co-primary endpoint, was not released and are not expected until 2013.

Click here for the Genentech press release.

From our perspective, it's promising that the study showed that patients "lived significantly longer without their disease worsening," but we need to see the actual data to understand more fully what this means. I will be talking with our scientific friends and advisors to gather more information. We need to learn the extent to which Avastin improves overall survival. We also want to understand how to optimize the use of Avastin, especially in conjunction with other treatments.

During the next few months, as more data and feedback come in, I will keep you updated on this important issue to our community.


Max Wallace