Roche Pharmaceuticals

Avastin(R) Continues to Demonstrate Long Term Survival for Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

    Basel, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Avastin Shows Unprecedented Patient Benefits Regardless of K-Ras  Status, Age and Chemotherapy Choice

    Avastin's (bevacizumab) essential role in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), the world's second most common cancer, was strengthened at the 33rd European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting with a compelling data set including:

@@start.t1@@      - the final overall survival analysis of a 2,000 patient community-based
         study
      - further analyses of the Avastin and cetuximab combination study
         highlighting K-Ras findings
      - strong and consistent outcome for elderly patients on
         Avastin-based therapy@@end@@

    Long-term overall survival reported from First BEAT (1)

    The long term benefits of Avastin use in combination with chemotherapy were confirmed in the 1,965 patient First BEAT study, which combined Avastin with commonly used chemotherapies in mCRC. First BEAT data confirmed:

@@start.t2@@      - Avastin-based therapy delivers a median overall survival benefit of
         approximately two years (22.7 months).
      - Patients who received Avastin plus chemotherapy and underwent complete
         resection (surgical removal) of their tumor had double the chance of
         surviving at 2 years compared to those who did not (89% versus 44%,
         respectively).
      - Importantly, long-term Avastin treatment did not increase the risk of
         patients suffering from Avastin-specific side effects, which were
         consistent with those reported in other clinical trials.@@end@@

    K-Ras findings from Avastin and cetuximab combination study to be presented (2)

    On September 14, key K-Ras findings will be presented at ESMO on Avastin-based treatment plus or minus cetuximab from the CAIRO-2 study.  These findings are expected to complement the recently reported data  confirming that Avastin is the only biologic that significantly improves  survival in patients with mCRC regardless of the patient's K-Ras gene  mutation status.

@@start.t3@@      - Specifically, the data showed that patients with the normal
         (wildtype) K-Ras gene had an 82% increase in the time they lived
         without their disease getting worse and a 57% improvement in overall
         survival when given Avastin and chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy
         alone.
      - Similarly, Avastin-based therapy improved outcomes in patients
         with mutated K-Ras compared to chemotherapy alone by increasing the
         time patients live without their disease getting worse by 69% and
         extending life by 46%.@@end@@

    Avastin's survival benefit in mCRC is unmatched in patients with either normal or mutated K-Ras. Up to 50% of patients will have a mutated form of K-Ras, where many other treatments have been shown to provide no benefit.

    Age does not matter; Avastin works in all patients (3)

    A new analysis of 4 key trials which included more than 3,000 patients showed that the benefits of Avastin-based therapy are independent of age. Considering that the majority of colorectal cancer patients are over  65 years in age, the magnitude of this finding becomes clear. The analysis demonstrated:

@@start.t4@@      - Patients on Avastin-based therapy that were under 65 years
         old had a 70% increased chance of being alive without their disease
         advancing compared to those on chemotherapy alone. If the patient was
         65 or older this chance increased slightly to 72%.
      - Furthermore, these findings were not impacted by the physician's
         choice of chemotherapy to use with Avastin.@@end@@

    In January 2008, Avastin received a broad label in the EU allowing it to be used in combination with fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy for first and later treatment lines in patients with mCRC. This means that virtually all patients with metastatic colorectal cancer have access to Avastin's benefits.

@@start.t5@@      Presentation of key data - further details:
      1. E. Van Custem et  Safety and efficacy of                  September 14
          al                         bevacizumab plus standard
                                        first-line chemotherapy in            12.30 - 13.30
                                        patients with mCRC: First BEAT            (CET)
                                                                                              Poster area A
      2. J.Tol et al          Randomized phase III study of        September 14
                                        capecitabine, oxaliplatin and
                                        bevacizumab with or without          12.30 - 13.30
                                        cetuximab in advanced CRC, the            (CET)
                                        CAIRO-2 study of Dutch CRC group  Poster area A
      3. J. Cassidy et al  Effect of bevacizumab in                September 14
                                        patientsover 65 years of age
                                        with mCRC                                        12.30 - 13.30
                                                                                                    (CET)
                                                                                              Poster area A@@end@@

    Additional information

    http://www.avastin-info.com

    http://www.Roche.com

    http://www.thenewsmarket.com (video clips about Avastin in broadcast standard, free of charge)

      For more information please contact:
      Roche,
      Erica Bersin,
      +41-79-618-7672,
      erica.bersin@Roche.com;
      Galliard Healthcare,
      Dominic Elliston,
      +44-20-7663-2266,
      delliston@galliardhealth.com

ots Originaltext: Roche Pharmaceuticals
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Contact:
For more information please contact: Roche, Erica Bersin,
+41-79-618-7672, erica.bersin@Roche.com; Galliard Healthcare, Dominic
Elliston, +44-20-7663-2266, delliston@galliardhealth.com



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