Patients suffering from a form of Neurofibromatosis (NF) have seen their tumours shrink after being treated by Roche’s Avastin (bevacizumab).

In a recent study carried out in the UK, the majority of the 24 patients taking Avastin saw 40% of their tumours shrink, while others which had been growing stabilised.

Some patients also noticed improvements in hearing and neurological function, while others saw a reduction in pain relief medication, according to Simon Lloyd, a consultant ENT surgeon at Manchester Royal Infirmary, who presented the results at a conference in the city.

Neurofibromatosis is a genetically-inherited disorder in which the nerve tissue grows non-cancerous tumours on the skin throughout the body.

More than 25,000 people in the UK are affected by NF and every day a baby is born with the condition.

News of the research coincides with the launch of a new charity, Children With Tumours, which is raising funds to provide respite to children and their carers affected by NF.