Roche and Genentech had unveiled late-stage data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting which reveals that women with metastatic breast cancer who received first-line therapy with its oncology blockbuster Avastin plus chemotherapy experienced improved progression-free survival, compared with chemotherapy alone.

In the AVADO trial, 736 patients with locally recurrent or metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer were randomised to receive one of two doses of Avastin (bevacizumab), 15mg/kg or 7.5mg/kg, or placebo given every three weeks for a minimum of nine cycles, and all patients also received docetaxel, which is sold by Sanofi-Aventis as Taxotere. Those who received the higher dose of Avastin improved progression-free survival by up to 64% and those who received the lower dose improved PFS by up to 45%.

After one year, 83% of patients who received the higher dose of Avastin and 78% who received the 7.5mg/kg dose were still alive, compared to 73% on chemotherapy alone. Additionally, the data demonstrated that response rates were 63% and 55% for those who received the higher and the lower doses of Avastin, respectively, compared with 44% on chemotherapy.

The results “build upon previous data and expand our understanding of Avastin’s efficacy and safety when combined with another commonly used taxane chemotherapy," said David Miles, principal investigator of the study. "Importantly, this study supports that Avastin can be used with taxane-based chemotherapy to provide a meaningful benefit for patients with advanced HER2-negative breast cancer."