This therapy blocks angiogenesis and prevents the tumour from coping with nutrients and growing, so having the chance to select those patients that are going to benefit from this mechanism is of high interest.
Precisely, IMAGING aims to identify biomarkers that predict the efficacy of the Bevacizumab (Avastin®) antiangiogenic drug in various patients. Those biomarkers will help to find out, at an early stage, which patients will respond to treatment with Bevacizumab, meaning more personalised treatment in the future.
According to Ms Isabel Álvarez, doctor at the Medical Oncology Unit at Donostia Hospital and participating researcher, “the idea was to observe the results of a localised treatment with chemotherapy and an antiogenic pharmaceutical drug (Bevacizumab), carried out prior to breast cancer surgery”. 73 patients with stage II-III of the cancer, awaiting surgery and who had not received treatment previously, participated. “The aim was to see if imaging or tissue markers would indicate patients who might benefit more from Bevacizumab treatment. To this end, tests were carried out prior to initiating the treatment, including imaging and tumour studies. The first treatment was applied with Bevacizumab and, after the first cycle, the tests were repeated. The combined treatment was then applied (including chemotherapy) and then surgery undertaken”, stated Dr Álvarez.
Data presented for the first time ever at the American meeting shows that ten days after receiving treatment solely with Bevacizumab, it was already possible to identify those women who could better respond. Thanks to the FMISO-PET imaging technique, it is observed that the medication triggers changes in the oxygenation of the tumour which induce a greater response.
Data suggest that early changes in tumour hypoxia could be used as a biomarker of pathologic response (tumour size reduction) during the pre-surgery therapy.