On November 18, 2011, the FDA revoked its approval of Avastin (bevacizumab) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. According to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, evidence shows that the risks associated with this medication outweigh the possible benefits. Although early studies were encouraging, follow-up studies fail to support these findings and clearly demonstrate the potentially life-threatening side effects of Avastin. These side effects include severe hypertension, hemorrhage, and perforations of the stomach, nose and intestines.
Avastin retains FDA approval for the treatment of colon, kidney, lung and brain cancer. Furthermore, doctors may continue to prescribe Avastin off-label for the treatment of breast cancer, and Medicare has stated it will continue to cover the cost of the medication.
Click here for the FDA Statement revoking approval