Avastin as Breast Cancer Treatment Revoked by FDA
Avastin is a popular cancer drug, but the Food and Drug Administration said it should not be used for the treatment of breast cancer. The FDA cited studies that showed dangerous side effects that are not worth the risk.
Avastin is currently approved to treat patients with lung cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer, and brain cancer. The FDAs decision will not affect those patients. The decision also does not affect patients already taking Avastin for breast cancer, but the FDA advises doctors to use their own judgment.
The drug was first approved in 2004, working as a treatment to inhibit a tumors blood supply. When it was first approved as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer in 2008, studies showed that it significantly extended the time that the illness remained stagnant instead of spreading for about five and a half months.
However after doing more widespread studies, severe side effects began to show, such as high blood pressure, internal bleeding, heart failure, and heart attacks. The studies also found that the benefit of time was much smaller, ranging only 24 days to two months.
The European Medicines Agency made a different decision, allowing Avastin to stay on the market for breast cancer patients, though it must be taken with the drug paclitaxel.