Avastin and Its Side Effects

Avastin, or bevacizumab, is classified as an angiogenesis inhibitor, a drug that slows the growth of new blood cells. Manufactured by Genentech, a San Francisco-based company, Avastin was first approved in 2004 for certain types of brain tumors and cancers of the kidney, lung, colon, and rectum that are metastatic, or have spread to other parts of the body. Working in conjunction with chemotherapy, Avastin, given intravenously in either 100mg or 400mg doses, interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells. Blood is needed by cancerous cells to deliver nutrients; therefore, cancer cells release a chemical called vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) that stimulates blood vessel growth. By blocking the formation of VEGF-A, Avastin blocks the creation of new blood cells and halts the growth of cancer.

Avastin and Breast Cancer

Though authorized for certain types of cancer in 2004, it was not until 2008 that Avastin was approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for breast cancer, even though an advisory panel recommended 5-4 that Avastin for breast cancer not be allowed.  According to an article in the Los Angeles Times dated November 18, 2011, studies showed that while Avastin stopped tumor growth, it did not lengthen the life of patients. In fact, not only did Avastin not lengthen a patient’s life, its harsh side effects and excessive cost, an estimated $88,000-$100,000 a year, diminished the patient’s quality of life. In 2010, the advisory panel voted 12-1 to revoke approval because a study of 3,000 women using Avastin for breast cancer showed the drug was ineffective. Finally in 2011, because Avastin was not providing the benefits that the cancer patients were seeking, the FDA withdrew its approval of Avastin for breast cancer but only after it  generated over a billion dollars for its manufacturer Genentech.

Have You Been Affected by Avastin?

Any individual or the relative of an individual who has suffered due to Avastin’s side effects is permitted to file a lawsuit.  The lawyers will help you determine whether you are qualified to seek compensation.  You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages (compensation granted for losses suffered).

Different states have different legislation regarding medical lawsuits, so it is essential to hire an experienced and effective lawyer who can file the case. If you need further information about the harmful side effects of Avastin or legal advice concerning personal injury matters, we invite you to contact us or to fill out our form on this website for a free case evaluation.

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