On Behalf of Patients, ABC2 Spurs Action On Avastin GBM Studies

Dear Friends,

Brain cancer patients reacted with concern and frustration to the recent news about the two conflicting Avastin GBM studies presented at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. Since that meeting we have met and talked with a number of patients, clinicians and researchers to gain a more complete understanding of the two studies. Based on this, we believe that resolving the conflicts and ambiguities inherent in the two studies is important not only for patients but also for the treating physicians.

As a result, we sent a letter last week to representatives of Roche/Genentech, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), and the FDA. Our letter called upon the two study groups to make all of the data from the studies available for review by an independent third party, such as the FDA.

We are pleased to see that our efforts have quickly brought action. On June 14th, The Cancer Letter published a detailed account entitled, "Advocacy Group Urges FDA to Sift Through Avastin Glioblastoma Data - Agency Accepts." The Cancer Letter is an award-winning weekly newsletter providing the latest on cancer research funding, legislation, policy issues, drug development and people in the news.  Please click here to read the article in its entirety.

We all wanted these studies to be fully consistent and to provide clarity for treatment decisions going forward. Unfortunately, that was not the case. However, this takes me back to my days running a drug discovery company working early on in HIV/AIDS. None of the drugs being brought forward were very effective and we knew little about how to best administer them. Over time, though, we learned how and when to give them to patients and how to best combine them with other drugs. They now form the backbone of what has proven to be a very effective treatment regimen for HIV/AIDS. I believe that we need to show the same openness, patience and rigor in evaluating drugs like Avastin. It is early and there is still much to learn.

This is an area where we believed that it was necessary to step up and provide a leadership voice. We intend to stay involved and, as developments unfold, I will continue to keep you updated on this most important issue.


Max Wallace, CEO of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure

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