Dr. Birrer on the Ovarian Cancer Avastin OS Benefit

Dr. Michael Birrer from Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center on the Ovarian Cancer Avastin OS Benefit

Michael J. Birrer, MD, PhD, director, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, gynecologic medical oncology, discusses the overall survival (OS) concerns surrounding the GOG0218 and the ICON7 trials that investigated bevacizumab (Avastin) in women with ovarian cancer.

Birrer does not believe these trials will demonstrate an OS benefit because many of the patients received bevacizumab after coming off the trial. Receiving the therapy at a later point contaminates the trial, since the OS benefit needs time to mature. As a result the full impact of the agent may not be realized.

The idea of using bevacizumab to treat recurrent ovarian cancer alone may result in some patients, which have aggressive tumors or are sick, from receiving the agent. Delaying recurrence provides relief from anxiety and lowers psychosocial concerns. Even without an OS benefit some patients feel that progression-free survival is sufficient.