Surgical Oncology News

This section features a sampling of news related to surgical oncology from the popular press, from press releases received, or SSO news directly pertinent to SSO members.

What does the FDA's Avastin decision mean for breast cancer patients

Author: Ron Winslow, The Wall Street Journal
Nov 18, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration's decision to revoke approval of Roche's Avastin for advanced breast cancer is likely to curtail use of the $6 billion-a-year drug for such patients. But it's not likely to put an end to prescribing.

Today's action doesn't affect the drug's other approved uses, which include certain types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancers, the FDA said. And physicians are free to prescribe an approved drug for any use they see fit.

One question, though, is whether insurers will cover it. About $1 billion of Avastin's sales are currently attributed to breast cancer. Many insurers have continued to cover it as the drug's use in breast cancer came under fire in recent months.

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