In 2004 Avastin was approved by the FDA for treatment of metastatic (cancer that has spread outside the local area) colon cancer. Heralded as the new chemo agent that would “change everything” for cancer patients. Immediately Roche began seeking other indications and usage for the drug to drive up their profits. The FDA approved some of these mostly on high hopes and not sound research. The fall began in April of 09 when the research began to come in and it was clearly demonstrated that Avastin did not benefit early-stage colon cancer. In 2008 the FDA approved Avastin for breast cancer. Approval was based on ONE
clinical trial in patients with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer that found a benefit in terms of cancer recurrence -- but not overall survival
-- and was contingent on further data to confirm the results.
Now Avastin is taking another hit because of its deadly side effects – severe bleeding, holes in the bowel, problems with wound healing. In short, those taking Avastin were 46% more likely to die. At nearly $10,000 a month one really has to ask if you want to have a 46% increase in death rate.
This is the legacy of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. If you will notice about 4 or 5 times a year the latest “hope” is hyped by the media. If all of these wonderful cures were coming to pass we would no longer have a problem with cancer! Alas, they only offer us false hope. If the government really was fighting a war on cancer as then president Richard Nixon declared in 1972, we would have life saving agents like Methyl-glyoxal, Dicloroacetate(DCA), and Hamlet available not to mention many others.