Friday, February 22, 2008

FDA Approves Avastin for Breast Cancer

Avastin, produced by Genentech, has been approved as a breast cancer treatment by the FDA. It was previously approved for lung and colon/ rectal cancer treatment. The chemical name for Avastin is bevacizumab. It is known as an angiogenesis inhibitor. Angiogenesis is a process where cancer cells produce a chemical which causes surrounding cells to produce new blood vessels that feed the cancer tissue. The studies done by Genentech show a slowing down /stopping of breast cancer tumor growth.Avastin is used with other chemotherapy drugs like 5-FU or carboplatin. There are some side effects - bowel perforations is one.

So why am I writing about Avastin? I have read about clinical trials of Avastin in Ovarian Cancer treatment. It seems that ovarian cancer cells may produce a VEGF -Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor. This factor causes angiogenesis and Avastin can counteract the VEGF. I know that is a simple version of what happens so if you want to check Avastin out in greater detail see:
Avastin Page
Marketwatch Page

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