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Avastin approved for brain cancer therapy
WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Avastin (bevacizumab) to treat patients with glioblastoma multiforme -- a form of brain cancer.
"GBM is a rapidly progressing cancer that invades brain tissue and can impact physical activities and mental abilities," the FDA said. "It affects about 6,700 persons in the United States every year."
Following initial treatment with surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy, the cancer nearly always returns, the agency said.
"This type of cancer is very resistant to therapy and thus challenging to treat," said Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA's Office of Oncology Drug Products. "Avastin provides a therapy for patients with progressive GBM who have not responded to other medications."
The FDA first approved Avastin in 2004 to treat metastatic cancer of the colon or rectum and it since has been approved for treatment of non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer and metastatic breast cancer.
Avastin is manufactured by Genentech Inc. (NYSE:DNA) of San Francisco.