Researchers examine positive response in AstraZeneca trial

In a presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting, researchers say that their analysis of AstraZeneca's Phase II trial for AZD2171 showed promise for a majority of glioblastoma patients in the study and helped illuminate why the therapy ultimately failed the study. The study is the first to test AZD2171 in glioblastoma patients, and to find that it "offered promising benefits such as tumor shrinkage and reduction of brain swelling," said Tracy Batchelor, M.D., chief of neuro-oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Of 31 patients who participated, more than half experienced tumor shrinkage of 50 percent or more, and median time to tumor re-growth was 111 days.

"This was not a randomized study, but compared to historical benchmarks, in which response to conventional therapies is approximately 10 percent and progression is usually 63 days, these results are encouraging," Dr. Batchelor said.

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