Avastin Shows No Benefit for Earlier Colon Cancer: Study

Experts say while it can help in advanced disease, that doesn't mean it works at all stages

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NorthShore's Obel said researchers need a better understanding of the biology of earlier-stage colon cancer, to develop therapies specifically for it. On the other hand, existing therapies are pretty good: "Many of our patients are cured," Obel said.

That's especially true with stage 2 colon cancer, which can often be treated with surgery alone, Obel noted.

She added that the current study is "a very good example of why we need rigorous clinical trials."

"What if doctors just said, 'Well, [Avastin] works for metastatic cancer,' and decided to give it to patients with early-stage disease?" Obel said. "This is an expensive drug that causes side effects, and before you give it, you better know that it's effective."

More information

Learn more about colon cancer treatment from the American Cancer Society.

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