Roche‘s Phase III Atlas study has met with positive results after the study revealed that non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLC) treated with Avastin and Tacerva lived 39% longer.

Patients who received Avastin (bevacizumab) and Tarceva (erlotinib) as a combined first-line maintenance treatment, lived 39% longer without the disease advancing, as compared to those who received Avastin alone.

IRCCS principal investigator on the Saturn study at Istituto Clinico Humanitas Professor Federico Cappuzzo said that this was welcome news for patients and physicians.

“Stopping the cancer growing for as long as possible reduces symptoms and helps improve the patient’s life,” he said.

“Being able to achieve these benefits without the need for chemotherapy is important since the side effects of chemotherapy add considerably to the physical and psychological burden of cancer for many patients.”

Results showed that after initial treatment with Avastin and chemotherapy, combined maintenance treatment with Avastin and Tarceva patients lived for up to 4.8 months without the disease getting worse as compared to 3.7 months with Avastin maintenance therapy alone.

Advanced NSCLC progresses rapidly and this benefit represents a marked improvement towards the treatment of the disease.