March 21, 2013 |
A compounding company in Augusta, Ga., has recalled syringes of the cancer drug Avastin it supplied over five months to physicians treating vision problems after the Food and Drug Administration received word that five patients who received the compounded medication came down with eye infections that could leave them blind. The FDA announced the recall Thursday after regulators conducted a preliminary inspection of Clinical Specialties Compounding Pharmacy and found "practices at the site that raise concerns about a lack of sterility assurance.
June 20, 2012 |
Lucentis, known generically as ranibizumab, is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating the wet form of age-related macular degeneration, commonly known as AMD. But Lucentis costs as much as $2,000 per dose, so many physicians have begun substituting the similar anti-cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab), which costs less than $150 per dose. Some studies have indicated that Avastin is just as effective as Lucentis, and many public agencies in the United States and Canada have begun authorizing its use in an effort to save money, although such use has not been approved by the FDA or its Canadian equivalent.
May 7, 2012
It sounds too good to be true, but a Chicago doctor is reporting that a drug-like dietary supplement, or nutriceutical, called Longevinex -- which contains the purported anti-aging chemical resveratrol -- may control or even reverse the symptoms of wet macular degeneration, a severe form of visual impairment. If the results prove to hold up, the treatment would have a great advantage over existing ones, which require injection of chemicals directly into the eye. Longevinex, in contrast, can be taken orally.
January 30, 2012 |
In November, following an emotional public hearing some months earlier, the Food and Drug Administration withdrew approval for the cancer drug Avastin for patients with metastatic breast cancer - the late-stage, incurable form of the disease. The reason: emerging evidence that the drug does not prolong life and also that it's been linked to serious side effects. Now, confusingly, Avastin is back in the news again - this time, with positive results in two early trials of women with early-stage breast cancer whose tumors have not traveled beyond the breast or nearby lymph nodes.
January 25, 2012 |
Use of Avastin for treating breast cancer that has spread was revoked by the Food and Drug Administration in November due to evidence that the drug did not extend survival. Two studies published Wednesday suggest Avastin may be helpful in some women with earlier-stage breast cancers. But many more questions remain about the drug's ultimate value in treating breast cancer. The two studies, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine , will rekindle the debate over the use of Avastin for breast cancer but are not by themselves convincing.
December 29, 2011 |
Doctors and patients eager for better ways to treat advanced ovarian cancer were encouraged by two new studies showing that adding Avastin to traditional chemotherapy drugs allowed women with the disease to live a few months before their cancer returned or worsened. The two large , international studies credited Avastin with providing an additional 3.8 months and 3.6 months of “progression-free survival.” (The reports in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine weren't able to say whether the women who took Avastin lived longer overall.)