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Adding Avastin® (bevacizumab) to chemotherapy in second-line treatment of advanced HER2-negative breast cancer improves progression-free survival. Results of the phase III TANIA trial evaluating the role of Avastin® in advanced breast cancer were recently reported in The Lancet Oncology journalby von Minckwitz et al at The University Women’s Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany.

The TANIA trial is an ongoing open-label trial that has enrolled 494 patients with breast cancer that had progressed after 12 weeks of first-line treatment with Avastin® plus chemotherapy. Patients with cancer progression were treated with either additional chemotherapy alone or with continued Avastin® added to chemotherapy. Patients participated in this study from 118 centers in France, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Greece, Israel, and Argentina between February 2011 and April 2013.

Overall the additional therapy with Avastin® was moderately well tolerated. Adverse events led to discontinuation of therapy in ~16% of Avastin® treated patents compared to 8% of those treated with chemotherapy alone.

The average time to cancer progression was 6.3 months in individuals treated with Avastin® plus chemotherapy compared to 4.2 months for individuals treated with chemotherapy alone suggesting that continued use of Avastin® is a valid treatment option for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer whose cancer was initially stabilized or responded to Avastin® treatment.

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Reference: von Minckwitz G, Puglisi F, Cortes J, et al. Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone as second-line treatment for patients with HER2-negative locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer after first-line treatment with bevacizumab plus chemotherapy (TANIA): an open-label, randomised phase 3 trial. The Lancet Oncology, Volume 15, Issue 11, Pages 1269 – 1278, October 2014.

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