Avastin for stage IIB-IIIA triple-negative breast cancer?


Question from Will: Is there any evidence that Avastin helps the survival rate for stage IIB-IIIA triple-negative breast cancer? If not, does it make sense to get out of the B-40 trial, since Avastin has negative side effects?
Answers - Kathy D. Miller, M.D. We know that in women with metastatic disease, adding Avastin (chemical name: bevacizumab) to initial chemotherapy makes the chemotherapy more effective, meaning that more women had their tumors shrink, and the benefits of the therapy lasted a much longer time. But in that setting, Avastin did not change the overall survival. The ongoing studies looking at Avastin as part of the adjuvant therapy for women with early stage disease are very important, but we don't have any results from those studies currently. They are all still enrolling patients. I don't think there was any information about Avastin at this meeting that should alter someone's decision about participating in those adjuvant trials. But as you mentioned, all of our therapies do have some side effects. So those side effects, depending on their severity, may be a reason for you to talk to your oncologist and to discuss again whether continuing in the study is right for you.

On Tuesday, December 15, 2009, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Updates from the 2009 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Kathy Miller, M.D. and Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. answered your questions about the latest updates on breast cancer risk, screening techniques, treatment options, and more.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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