Roche’s angiogenesis blocker Avastin (bevacizumab) has picked up another approval in Europe, this time for the treatment of advanced cervical cancer.

The European Commission has cleared Avastin in combination with standard chemotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix. 

Around 33,000 women are diagnosed with the condition every year, and the long-term prognosis is poor, with less than one in six patients alive five years post diagnosis. Until now, treatment has been limited to chemotherapy alone, so access to Avastin will provide a much-needed new option to potentially extend survival. 

Approval came on the back of data from the GOG-0240 study, which showed that women taking Avastin plus chemotherapy had a statistically significant 26% reduction in the risk of death - a median improvement in survival of nearly four months - compared to those receiving chemotherapy alone.

The same data formed the basis of Avastin’s approval for advanced cervical cancer in the US, which was issued in August last year.

In Europe, Avastin is approved for the treatment of advanced stages of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, and now cervical cancer.