Would you share about the current status of anti-angiogenesis medications for breast cancer?

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KathyMillerMD (Physician - Oncology - Hematology/Oncology (Verified) ) - 09 / 04 / 2012

The most well studied drug is bevacizumab (Avastin), an antibody that blocks the growth of blood vessels stimulated by the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF for short). Adding bevacizumab to initial chemotherapy for metastatic disease resulted in more women who had their tumors improve and remain under control for a longer time but did not help women live longer. No one argues about that….the argument has been about how much longer a time of disease control is worthwhile and for what cost (both in terms of dollars and in terms of side effects). Bevacizumab was first approved based on a study that showed a fairly large benefit. When later studies found a benefit that was much shorter, the approval was withdrawn. Since those studies researchers have gotten closer (we think) to predicting which women might benefit. A large study is underway to test the agent in that group. Other anti-angiogenic agents tested thus afar haven’t been very successful. Those drugs inhibited many growth factors at the same time. With what I said earlier about the large number of growth factors at the tumors disposal, you would think that is a good thing right? Unfortunately it also increases the side effects and made it hard to combine those drugs with chemotherapy. Other antiangiogenic drugs that inhibit different growth factors seem very promising and are currently in clinical trials currently.
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