The European Union’s (EU) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the use of Avastin (bevacizumab) in combination with standard chemotherapy (paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan in patients who cannot receive platinum therapy) to treat adult patients with carcinoma of the cervix.
Roche chief medical officer and global product development head Dr Sandra Horning said: "Treatment options in Europe for women whose cervical cancer has recurred, persisted or spread are currently limited to chemotherapy.
"This CHMP positive opinion for Avastin brings us one step closer to providing women with a much needed, new treatment option that can help them live longer compared to chemotherapy alone."
EU recommended the cancer drug based on the significant survival benefit in the pivotal GOG-0240 trial, which demonstrated that women who received Avastin plus chemotherapy had a statistically significant 26% reduction in the risk of death.
The trial represented a median improvement in survival of nearly four months, compared against women who received chemotherapy alone, noted Roche.
In August and December 2014, Avastin received approval in the US and Switzerland respectively, for combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan chemotherapy to treat women with persistent, recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix, based on the results of the GOG-0240 study.
In Europe, Avastin obtained approval to treat advanced stages of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer and ovarian cancer, while in the US to treat colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, kidney cancer, cervical cancer and platinum-resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer.
Avastin was approved in the US and in more than 60 other countries to treat patients with progressive glioblastoma following prior therapy.
Image: High grade dysplasia (carcinoma in situ) in the uterine cervix.. Photo: courtesy of Haymanj.