Navigation Links
More Evidence Cancer Drug Avastin May Cause Harm

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new review finds more evidence that the beleaguered cancer drug Avastin may harm patients.

An analysis of previously published studies found that the drug, when used in combination with chemotherapy or biological therapy, actually increased patient deaths from adverse events, compared with using chemotherapy or biologics alone.

This new information should change the way patients and practitioners think about the drug, said Dr. Shenhong Wu, senior author of the report, published Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"I believe the risk-benefit ratio has changed," said Wu, assistant professor of medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook, N.Y. "Physicians need to think about this."

Avastin (bevacizumab) was okayed in 2008 for use in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat breast cancer under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's accelerated approval program. Approval was based on one clinical trial in patients with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer that found a benefit in terms of cancer recurrence -- but not overall survival -- and was contingent on further data to confirm the results.

Three subsequent studies failed to find an overall survival benefit and, in fact, showed less impressive improvements in survival involving no progression of cancer.

After reviewing all four studies, the FDA in December recommended revoking approval of Avastin to fight breast cancer. The recommendation didn't affect use of Avastin for advanced colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer.

Wu and his colleagues looked at 16 completed randomized controlled trials on Avastin involving more than 10,000 patients with different forms of cancer.

Some 2.5 percent of patients taking Genentech-made Avastin died compared with 1.7 percent of those taking chemotherapy alone, a 46 percent increased risk, the investigators found.

The rate was about the same across tumor types but not across different chemotherapy regimens. The risk was increased among those receiving chemotherapy containing taxanes or platinum agents but not other chemo compounds.

The most common causes of death were hemorrhage, followed by low white-blood-cell count and gastrointestinal perforations.

Dr. Roman Perez-Soler, chairman of oncology and chief of medical oncology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, a lung cancer expert, pointed out that lung cancer is one of the few malignancies in which Avastin has prolonged survival and thus might still have a place in this armamentarium.

But an accompanying journal editorial raises other considerations, including the cost ($50,000 a year for the drug alone, plus the cost of monitoring and chemo) and a cumbersome delivery method (frequent injections for years).

The author of that editorial acknowledged that Avastin works well in some patients, but said it's impossible to predict in which patients and for how long benefits will last.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on Avastin.

SOURCES: Shenhong Wu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, medicine, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, N.Y.; Roman Perez-Soler, M.D., chairman, oncology, and chief, medical oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 2, 2011, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Hayes Announces Appointment Of Dr Susan Levine To The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC)
2. Evidence-based care and outcomes improve at Get With The Guidelines-Stroke hospitals
3. Researchers find further evidence linking Epstein-Barr virus and risk of multiple sclerosis
4. More Evidence That Swings in Blood Pressure Raise Stroke Risk
5. Cellular pathway could provide evidence of how cancer and obesity are linked
6. Palladians Distinguished Clinicians Present at APTAs National CSM Convention in San Diego on Evidenced Informed Management of Chronic Low Back Pain Without Surgery
7. Pew Applauds Federal Grant Program Supporting State Expansion of Evidence-Based Home Visitation
8. Elseviers Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice celebrates 10th year with special issue
9. Evidence-based medicine theory can be applied to frequent flying says US professor
10. No Evidence That Lithium Helps in ALS
11. UNC study offers first clinical evidence of anti-cancer drug triggering viral infection
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
More Evidence Cancer Drug Avastin May Cause Harm
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... Tympani Inc., announced today that it ... Cisco. This designation recognizes Tympani as having fulfilled the training requirements and program ... the high-end enterprise contact center marketplace. , Ed Kapelinski, President of Tympani stated, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The National Association of ... into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this ... exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members and over 200 operating Local Chapters. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Being a caregiver ... the VA Maryland Health Care System, the Caregiver Support Program promotes the health ... a difficult job. Seventy-four percent report that their role as a caregiver has ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TX (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... plastic surgery and dermatology, is proud to announce that its ThermiRFR temperature controlled ... , ThermiRF is an innovative multi-application radiofrequency platform which uses temperature as a ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... and fun atmosphere for Halloween festivities, the Word of Life Christian Church of ... board game, and featuring a giant 1.25 ton pile of candy dubbed “Candy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... BASEL, Switzerland , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... its wholly-owned UK subsidiary Proximagen Ltd., today announced a ... oral small molecule inhibitor of Vascular Adhesion Protein 1 ... the treatment of inflammatory disease. The VAP-1 inhibitor is ... --> --> Under the terms of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TOKYO , 1 décembre 2015 ... plus grande exposition et conférence d,Asie ... médicaux et sur l,industrie manufacturière, se ... du 20 au 22 avril ... - Photo - ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 --> ... - Pipeline Review, H2 2015" market research ... pipeline of Endometriosis and helps enhance decision ... to gain competitive advantage. It strengthens R&D ... to produce first-in-class and best-in-class products. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: