US warns against risky breast cancer drug

-Food and Drug Dep’t

The Government Analyst Food and Drug Department is advising breast cancer patients who use Avastin to contact their physicians since the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found no evidence that the drug can delay tumour growth or prolong life.

In a press release, the Analyst Department said the FDA announced that after reviewing available studies, it

has found that “women who take Avastin for metastatic breast cancer, risk potentially life threatening side effects without proof that the use of Avastin will provide a benefit, in terms of delay in tumour growth that would justify those risks.”

Further, the FDA found that there is no evidence that the use of Avastin will either help them live longer or improve their quality of life. On the other hand, Avastin’s risks include severe high blood pressure, bleeding and haemorrhaging heart attack or heart failure, development of perforations in different parts of the body such as the nose, stomach and intestines.

Avastin was used in combination with the cancer drug paclitaxel for patients who have not been treated with chemotherapy for their form of metastatic breast cancer. “This indication must now be removed from Avastin product label,” the Department said. It also advises patients who are currently on Avastin to consult their health care providers or the Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health.

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