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Avastin Has Little Impact in Colon Cancer Recurrence: Trial

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A clinical trial of about 2,700 early-stage colon cancer patients found that the drug Avastin didn't reduce the risk of recurrent colon cancer by a significant amount, drug manufacturer Genentech announced Wednesday.

The patients in the study had surgery and then received six months of standard chemotherapy or six months of standard chemotherapy plus Avastin. The trial did not meet its endpoint, which means the drug didn't reduce the risk of cancer recurrence by the targeted amount, The New York Times reported.

No more details were made public. Study data was expected to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla., that begins in late May.

Avastin is approved for treatment of late-stage colon, breast and lung cancers. The new trial was designed to assess its effects on the course of colon cancer when used immediately after surgery to remove the tumor, The Times reported.

Current chemotherapy keeps about 70 percent of colon cancer patients disease-free three years after surgery. Achieving a significant improvement on that is viewed as a major challenge.

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