Researchers begin promising new trial to fight colorectal cancer

NEW YORK, March 10, 2004 New York University School of Medicine investigators are leading a national study, called TREE-2, which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of three regimens of Eloxatin™ plus fluoropymidine, plus Avastin™ as first-line treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Two hundred and ten patients will be enrolled at 80 sites in the United States.

This new study is based on promising data presented at the 2003 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting demonstrating an incremental survival benefit when Avastin™ was added to a standard first-line colon cancer treatment regimen called IFL (Irinotecan, 5-FU, Leucovorin). At the same meeting, it was reported that patients treated with Eloxatin, used in combination with the fluoropymidine 5-FU (FOLFOX), survived longer than those treated with IFL in a head-to-head comparison study. Eloxatin? is manufactured by Sanofy-Synthelabo and Genentech manufactures Avastin?.

"The findings from this study have the potential to affect the standard of care for metastatic colorectal cancer," said Howard Hochster, M.D, lead investigator of the TREE 2 study. "We are making focused efforts to find the most effective therapeutic option currently available for treatment of colorectal cancer. This study will combine an effective anti-angiogenesis antibody with the best possible chemotherapy. We are also looking at ways of making the oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy regimens more user friendly for the patient."

It is hoped that this new drug regimen will ultimately improve the treatment and survival rate of patients with colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Approximately 150,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and in 2003 nearly 60,000 deaths were attributed to the disease.


Contact: Pam Mcdonnell
New York University Medical Center and School of Medicine

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