Health Canada suspended authorization for the drug Avastin to be used in treating metastatic breast cancer, saying the risks outweighed the benefits.
November 28, 2011 – Health Canada has just announced that it has suspended authorization for the drug Avastin to be used in treating metastatic breast cancer. The drug, also known as bevacizumab, has shown to pose more risk then benefit when treating this type of breast cancer and as a result, it will no longer be used for metastatic breast cancer treatment.
Avastin Drug Used to Treat Breast Cancer
In 2009, Health Canada allowed the makers of Avastin, Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., to market their drug for treating metastatic breast cancer. The authorization was granted ‘with conditions’, meaning that on top of showing promising clinical studies, the company had to show follow-up studies that confirmed the benefit of using Avastin.
Since then, Avastin has not shown to be beneficial in treating this type of cancer as it did not prove to reduce tumor-size, nor did it extend lives. It did, however, cause serious and life-threatening side effects such as heart attacks, serious high blood pressure, bleeding and tearing of membrane linings.