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Conflicting Data on Safety of Combined Therapy for Lung Cancer Patients

Posted Jul 30 2010 7:23am

Using cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab) in combination with various standard chemotherapy regimens for treatment of advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is safe and effective, according to research in the current issue of The Lancet Oncology.

“The practical implication is the possibility to incorporate Avastin with any chemotherapy regimen in the frontline therapy of metastatic non-squamous lung cancer,” said lead researcher Lucio Crino, MD, director of medical oncology at S. Maria della Misericordia Hospital in Perugia, Italy.

According to an editorial written by Robert Pirker, MD, Avastin “can be safely given when certain precautions are taken.” He added, “It is unknown whether bevacizumab increases survival when added to cisplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer.”

Pirker noted several issues still to be addressed, including identification of the optimal dose and the role of maintenance therapy with Avastin.

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