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FDA says Avastin's Risks Outweigh Benefits for Breast Cancer Patients

Friday, November 18, 2011 - 4:34pm

The Food and Drug Administration has decided to revoke approval of a popular cancer drug for the treatment of breast cancer.

The drug Avastin was granted accelerated approval in 2008 for breast cancer, meaning patients could use the drug while ongoing studies evaluated the potential risks and benefits. Those studies did not show a benefit.

In fact there was no delay in tumor growth, improvement in quality of life or extension of life among the patients using the drug. There were also severe side effects reported.

Patients could still use Avastin for breast cancer, but there is a good chance their insurance company won't cover it, and the drug costs nearly $90,000 dollars a year.

FDA officials say the drug will remain on the market for colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer.

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