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Drug could slow brain tumors

February 21, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Genentech Inc.'s Avastin, used to treat colorectal and lung cancers, can slow the growth of incurable brain tumors, a study found.

The 32-patient trial found that combining Avastin with chemotherapy halted growth of gliomas, the most common and deadly brain malignancies, twice as long as existing treatments, researchers said.

The study, which evaluated patients with recurrent brain tumors, is published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Avastin shrinks tumors by cutting off their blood supply. The study is the first to test Avastin against gliomas and raises hope of a new way to fight the disease, for which treatment options are limited.

The research received funding from the National Institutes of Health and South San Francisco-based Genentech.

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