New Data Show That Herceptin, Xeloda and Avastin Help Patients With Early and Advanced Breast Cancer Live Longer or Remain Disease Free for Longer

Geschrieben am 10-12-2008

Basel, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire) -

- Roche Medicines Offer Improved Ways of Fighting the Leading
Cause of Cancer Death in Women

New data being presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast
Cancer Symposium (SABCS) show that Herceptin (trastuzumab), Avastin
(bevacizumab) and oral Xeloda (capecitabine) continue to offer new
and better treatment options for breast cancer patients allowing
women to live longer or remain disease free for longer if the
medicines are given before and after surgery as well as in advanced
stages of disease.

Key data being presented include:
- Herceptin before surgery: Results from the NOAH (NeOAdjuvant Herceptin)
phase III study showed that women with locally advanced HER2-positive
breast cancer who started a combination of Herceptin and standard
chemotherapy prior to surgery had a significantly greater chance of
living free of their disease (event-free survival) three years after
initiation of treatment as compared to women who were receiving pre-
operative chemotherapy alone.
- Xeloda in early breast cancer: Early data from an independent study in
Finland and Sweden indicate that the chemotherapy pill Xeloda, which is
already proven in advanced breast cancer, may also reduce the
recurrence of early breast cancer and help women live longer. This is
one of 20 Xeloda abstracts that have been accepted for presentation
during SABCS.
- Avastin in advanced breast cancer: First efficacy results from the
largest ever safety study of Avastin in a real-life setting, which
involved more than 2,000 patients with locally recurrent or metastatic
breast cancer, confirm that Avastin can be used with a broad range of
chemotherapy treatments giving patients a median of almost 10 months
without their disease getting worse. The results, which are one of 24
separate Avastin data presentations during SABCS, confirm that Avastin
based therapy is essential for improving the lives of women with
advanced breast cancer.

"Researching new cancer treatments is a complex step by step
process. Each success helps lay the foundation for the next step
forward," said William M. Burns, CEO Division Roche Pharmaceuticals.
"These results show that we are making significant progress towards
giving doctors and their breast cancer patients better and more
effective treatment options to fight this devastating disease at all
stages," he added.

Presentation of Data
Gianni L et al Neoadjuvant trastuzumab in patients with Friday 12th
HER2-positive locally advanced breast December
cancer: primary efficacy analysis of the 09:30 hrs
NOAH trial General
Session 3
(Hall D)
Joensuu H et Significant improvement in Sunday 14th,
al. for The recurrence-free survival (RFS) December
Finnish Breast when capecitabine (X) is 11:45 hrs
Cancer Group integrated into docetaxel (T)
5-FU + epirubicin + General
cyclophosphamide (CEF) adjuvant Session 7
therapy for high-risk early
breast cancer (BC): interim
analysis of the FinXX-trial.
Smith IE et al Primary analysis of study MO19391, an Saturday
open-label safety study of bevacizumab 13th
plus taxane-based therapy as 1st-line December
treatment of patients with locally 07:00 hrs
recurrent or metastatic breast cancer.
Session 4

The above mentioned studies and data represent the latest results
of clinical research for each treatment and are not necessarily part
of the indicated licence in each country. For detailed label
information, visit the website of your health authority or the EMEA
website http://www.emea.europa.eu/

Note to Editors

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide.(i)
Each year more than one million new cases of breast cancer are
diagnosed worldwide, and nearly 400,000 people will die of the
disease annually.(ii) In HER2-positive breast cancer, increased
quantities of the HER2 protein are present on the surface of the
tumour cells. This is known as 'HER2-positivity'. High levels of HER2
are present in a particularly aggressive form of the disease which
responds poorly to chemotherapy. Research shows that HER2-positivity
affects approximately 20-30 percent of women with breast cancer.(iii)

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's
leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of
pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech
company and an innovator of products and services for the early
detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group
contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health
and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro
diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market
leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic
areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic
disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2007 sales
by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.8 billion Swiss francs,
and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.3 billion francs.
Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous
partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and
Chugai, and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2007.
Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional
information is available on the Internet at http://www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are legally

(i) World Health Organization,
(ii) Ferlay J, et al., GLOBOCAN 2002. Cancer Incidence, Mortality and
Prevalence Worldwide. IARC CancerBase No.5, Version 2.0. IARCPress,
Lyon, 2004. 2004.
(iii) Harries M, Smith I. The development and clinical use of trastuzumab
(Herceptin). Endocr Relat Cancer 9: 75-85, 2002.

ots Originaltext: Roche Pharmaceuticals
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

Roche Group Media Relations: Phone: +41-61-688-8888, e-mail:
basel.mediaoffice@roche.com - Daniel Piller (Head) - Alexander
Klauser - Martina Rupp - Claudia Schmitt - Elina Ammala


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