According to recent findings, regulatory officials have discovered another risk affiliated with the cancer treatment medication Avastin. Studies suggest that Avastin may increase the risk of ovarian failure. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) further advised doctors to counsel women of child-bearing age about the possibility that taking Avastin could potentially cause ovaries to stop releasing eggs early. Subsequently, these new findings resulted in the addition of ovarian failure to Avastin’s warning label.
As a product of Genentech, Avastin was introduced to the U.S. market on February 26, 2004. Following regulatory actions taken by the FDA, Avastin became approved for the treatment of cancer. More specifically, Avastin is intended to prohibit the growth of cancerous cells in certain parts of the body. It is intended to treat cancer of the colon, rectum, lung, kidney and breast. However, Avastin indications also suggest that the medication may assist in the treatment of tumors as well.
According to prescribing information, Avastin is a tumor-starving (anti-angiogenic) therapy. Subsequently, Avastin has the inherent ability to block a specific protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). While a healthy cell produces VGEF on a regular basis, cancerous cells have a tendency to overproduce the protein. As a result, cancerous cells grow at an exponential rate. Blocking the production of VGEF may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors. Therefore, tumors are unable to receive the nutrients that they require to grow.
Unfortunately, studies suggest that Avastin treatment may coincide with catastrophic side effects. The method in which Avastin treats cancerous cells may serve as the mechanism in which numerous complications are developed. Because the medication focuses on restricting blood flow to starve cancerous cells of nutrients, serious and adverse cardiac event may occur. Patients may increase their risk of high blood pressure, profuse bleeding, hemorrhaging, heart attack and heart failure.
However, recent studies suggest that Avastin may be responsible for ovarian failure as well. According to a clinical trial, 34 percent of women who received Avastin, in association with chemotherapy, experienced ovarian failure. Whereas only 2 percent developed ovarian failure after chemotherapy by itself. Following the trial, the FDA acknowledged that ovarian functions returned in about 20 percent of women after Avastin treatment was stopped. Accordingly, the warning label for Avastin has been updated and now includes the potential risk of ovarian failure.
Controversy surrounding the popular cancer medication should come at no surprise to the healthcare community. The end of 2010 witnessed an FDA advisory committee recommend that Avastin’s approval for breast cancer be rescinded. The recommendation came in the wake of four clinical trials that suggested the drug failed to extend the lives of metastatic breast cancer patients. It did appear to delay the progression of the disease by one to three months, however, but at the cost of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.
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Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by Avastin, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.