Avastin Disappoints Against Ovarian Cancer

Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2011 --- 4:30 p.m.

BOSTON (AP) -- Avastin, the blockbuster drug that just lost approval for treating breast cancer, now looks disappointing against ovarian cancer, too. Two studies find that it does not improve survival for most ovarian cancer patients and keeps their disease from worsening for only a few months. And it has more side effects.

European regulators approved Avastin for ovarian cancer last week. But the drug's maker, Genentech, says the results of the studies do not make U.S. approval likely. Without that, insurers may not pay for treatment. Avastin can cost $100,000 a year.

Avastin can still be sold for some colon, lung, kidney and brain cancers. The studies on ovarian cancer are in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Copyright 2011. The Associated Press.

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