Improved Survival with Bevacizumab in Advanced Cervical Cancer (GOG 240)

Type: Cervical Cancer

Section: Medical therapy for cervical cancer

Published: February 2014

This paper demonstrated for the first time that the addition of a targeted therapy called bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy improves survival for women with advanced cancer of the cervix.
This paper showed that if doctors add type of targeted therapy called bevacizumab (say it: BEV-AH-SIZ-OOH-MAB) which is also called Avastin. This medication prevents cancer cells from creating new blood vessels. Cancer cells can create new blood vessels to feed them so that they can continue to grow in an uncontrolled way. Bevacizumab prevents this from happening.

The study showed that giving this drug with standard chemotherapy every 3 weeks to people with advanced cervical cancer prolonged their survival by 3.4 months compared to those who had chemotherapy on its own.

Advanced cervical cancer means that the cancer was widespread when it was first diagnosed or has returned in a widespread way that is not possible to treat with surgery or radiotherapy.

In the group who had bevacizumab with chemotherapy, there were higher rates of high blood pressure, clots in the leg or lung and fistulas or abnormal connections between the bowel and other organs such as the bladder or vagina.