Preliminary Results from the AVAPERL Study: The Alimta/Avastin Combo in Maintenance Looks Favorable


I'm at Swedish Hospital, not in Stockholm, Sweden now, where the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress is going on. But there, the preliminary results of the AVAPERL phase III randomized trial were just reported, and they certainly look encouraging for the combination of Alimta (pemetrexed) and Avastin (bevacizumab) as a maintenance therapy for patients with Avastin-eligible advanced NSCLC who hadn't progressed after four cycles of cisplatin/Alimta/Avastin, compared with maintenance Avastin alone.

Quick Update from ASCO


I apologize if it seems that the updates about ASCO have been slow in coming. This is mostly because the lung cancer program this year has most of the higher profile presentations occurring in the second half of the meeting, which we're just getting into. And, truth be told, this isn't going to be a blockbuster year for developments in lung cancer. But let's review what we've found out about thus far.

Lung Cancer FAQ: I'm coming to the end of my first line chemo for advanced NSCLC. After 4 (or 6) cycles are done, should I take a break or continue with some form of maintenance therapy?


The historic standard for advanced NSCLC up until a few years ago was for patients to complete 4-6 cycles of platinum-based doublet chemo, and then for patients who were doing well and had responded or demonstrated stable disease to take a break from treatment and be followed until progression. At that point, many patients would re-initiate chemo or targeted therapy with an oral agent like Tarceva (erlotinib).

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