ANCHOR LEAD: THE FDA HAS REMOVED ONE DRUG FROM USE IN WOMEN WITH METASTATIC BREAST CANCER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Avastin is a drug that inhibits formation of new blood vessels, and has proven useful in conditions like macular degeneration and some types of cancer. Yet the FDA has recently removed Avastin from the list of approved drugs for metastatic breast cancer. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, explains why.
PARK: When one looked at the original studies, yes, Avastin added to a chemotherapy drug called Taxol actually did make a difference in terms of prolonging disease coming back in metastatic breast cancer patients but it did not and never has shown any survival benefit. And in our business that's kind of the gold standard because if you're not actually improving survival are you potentially making things worse? Is survival ever decreased with longer term follow up? And with the cost of drugs and the toxicities associated with new drugs, including Avastin, maybe we're actually not doing more good than harm. :33
At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.