Should the Popular Cancer Drug Avastin be Used in Treating Breast Cancer?

Since 1982 The Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization has been the largest and most influential breast cancer patient-advocacy groups. Recently the organization has been lobbying Washington for greater access to breast-cancer prevention services and treatment including access to the popular cancer drug, Avastin.

Avastin is is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, glioblastoma, advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in people who have not yet received chemotherapy for their advanced disease and metastatic kidney cancer. The drug works by starving the tumor. Avastin blocks a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, which can prevent the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors.

Currently the FDA has not approved Avastin for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. Some women have used this drug and the Komen organization wants more affordable access to Avastin for these women already using it.

The Wall Street Journal reported that,

The FDA said in December that it wants to revoke Avastin’s approval for breast cancer.

Avastin’s maker, Roche Holding AG unit Genentech, has protested the decision. It says the drug remains a valuable option for some women with the disease.

The Komen science-advisory board and other breast-cancer specialists have reviewed the data and FDA analysis in detail, and discussed the issue at the annual breast-cancer symposium held in San Antonio in December.

The organization will continue to push for affordable access to Avastin for patients already on the drug.

The FDA believes that the risks due to side effects of the drug outweigh the benefits for breast cancer patients. These side effects include hemorrhaging and intestinal perforations. Although, doctors can still prescribe Avastin “off label” to women with the disease.

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Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.

Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at and her articles can also be found on She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the Chief Marketing Officer for Talbert Nutrition LLC,  and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge. Follow her on .

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