Breast cancer

28 June 2011

End of road for breast cancer drug

The best-selling cancer drug in the world, Avastin, has again come under federal scrutiny as the drug maker tries to make its case despite no evidence the drug works.

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The best-selling cancer drug in the world comes under federal scrutiny once again this week, as drug maker Roche makes a last-ditch effort to keep its drug Avastin approved for breast cancer, despite evidence that it is ineffective against the disease.

The two-day Food and Drug Administration meeting is unprecedented since the agency has already ruled against the drug, saying it neither extends nor improves life for breast cancer patients. Roche has taken the rare step of challenging government regulators.

Switzerland-based Roche says it needs more time to study which patients respond to Avastin. But that argument may fall on deaf ears: Five out of six FDA panelists have already voted against the drug. The ultimate decision will be made by FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. (Sapa, June 2011)

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Breast cancer expert

Dr Gudgeon qualified in Birmingham, England, in 1968. She has more than 40 years experience in oncology, and in 1994 she founded her practice, Cape Breast Care, where she treats benign and malignant breast cancers. Dr Boeddinghaus obtained her qualification at UCT Medical School in 1994 and her MRCP in London in 1998. She has worked extensively in the field of oncology and has a special interest in the hormonal management of breast cancer. She now works with Dr Gudgeon at Cape Breast Care. Read more.

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