Research Provides New Advances Against Women's Cancers

For Immediate Release
June 4, 2011

Amanda Narod

CHICAGO – Studies detailing new advances against women’s cancers were released today at a press briefing at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

“As oncologists and researchers, we strive to expand our treatment armamentarium against hard-to-treat women’s cancers,” said news briefing moderator Andrew Seidman, MD, attending physician, breast cancer medicine service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and professor of medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. “The studies presented at this meeting show impressive progress in disease control and prevention of breast cancer. Also, two consistent studies demonstrated the benefit of adding bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.”

Studies highlighted in the press briefing include:

Exemestane Significantly Reduces Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer in High-Risk, Postmenopausal Women: A large randomized double-blind phase III trial has shown that in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, the aromatase inhibitor exemestane (Aromasin) reduces this risk by 65 percent compared with placebo.

Adding Regional Nodal Irradiation Decreases Recurrences in Women with Early Breast Cancer: Interim analysis data from a randomized Phase III trial showed that, in women with node-positive or high-risk node-negative breast cancer, additional radiation treatment to the regional lymph nodes (regional nodal irradiation, or RNI) improves disease-free survival, reducing cancer recurrences both near the tumor site and in other parts of the body.

Bevacizumab Extends Progression-Free Survival In Recurrent Ovarian, Peritoneal, and Fallopian Tube Cancers: The randomized Phase III OCEANS study of bevacizumab (Avastin) in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy showed that women with recurrent ovarian cancer who took bevacizumab lived significantly longer without their disease getting worse. A 52 percent reduction in the risk of disease progression was seen.

Initial Data on Use of Bevacizumab for Newly Diagnosed Ovarian Cancer Suggests Survival Benefit for Women at High Risk of Recurrence: Interim survival data from a randomized Phase III trial suggested that adding bevacizumab (Avastin) to standard carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy for treatment of newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients may offer benefit over treatment with chemotherapy alone, particularly for patients with more aggressive disease.

Download a full copy of the press release.

For consumer-oriented information on these studies and more than 120 cancer types, please refer your readers to ASCO’s patient website, www.Cancer.Net.

Relevant Links on ASCO’s Cancer.Net:


The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.Cancer.Net.