Avastin Gets New Approval for Brain Cancer

THURSDAY May 7, 2009 -- It had been more than 10 years since a new treatment for glioblastoma was approved, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now granted accelerated approval for the cancer drug Avastin for use against the aggressive brain cancer tumors, Business Week reports.

Avastin, developed by Genentech, which in March was bought by Switzerland-based Roche, is already approved as treatment for various forms of colon, breast and lung cancers, Business Week said. The FDA go-ahead was based on the drug's ability to achieve a partial or complete response in clinical trials, although Genentech said there is currently no data showing it reduces symptoms or improves survival. The company said it is planning a late stage trial of Avastin as a treatment for newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

About 10,000 people in the United States have glioblastoma -- the same type of tumor Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., has been fighting -- and the tumors often recur even after initial treatment, Genentech said in a news release, Business Week reported.

More information

The FDA has more about this drug's approval history.

Posted: May 2009


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