Chicago: Long-term use of Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG`s Avastin, in combination with chemotherapy, helped women with advanced ovarian cancer live longer without their cancer getting worse, according to results from a new study. The trial, funded by the National Cancer Institute, found that women who received Avastin and chemotherapy, followed by "maintenance" use of Avastin, had a 39 percent improvement in the likelihood of living without the cancer worsening, compared with chemotherapy alone.
Some 230,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year worldwide and nearly 70 percent of women with advanced disease die within five years, according to Roche. The company, which announced in February that the ovarian cancer trial had succeeded, has estimated that use of Avastin in ovarian cancer could add another 1 billion Swiss francs ($865 million) to sales. The world`s largest maker of cancer drugs is looking to expand the reach of Avastin, which had sales of 6.2 billion francs in 2009 and could become the world`s top selling drug by 2014 with sales of some $9 billion a year. Bureau Report
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