FDA Approves Genentech's Avastin

Avastin is a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells by blocking the formation and growth of new blood vessels in the tumor which slows their growth.

Avastin is used to treat a certain type of brain tumor as well as cancers of the kidney, colon, rectum, lung, or breast. It is usually given as part of a combination of cancer medicines.

Avastin (pronounced ah-va'-stin) is an innovative tumor-starving therapy designed to block the VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) protein that is produced by normal cells and overproduced by cancer cells.

Avastin is not chemotherapy and therefore works differently. Avastin is a tumor-starving therapy because it starves the tumor of what it needs to grow and spread. Avastin works by blocking a protein called VEGF. This protein, VEGF, is produced by normal cells and overproduced by cancer cells. VEGF is important for the formation of blood vessels. Tumors rely on blood vessels to get the nutrients and oxygen they need to survive. By blocking VEGF, Avastin can starve your cancer of the food supply it needs to grow and spread. Blocking VEGF may be one way to fight your cancer.

Avastin is an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody for the treatment of solid tumors.
Avastin, used in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, is indicated for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum.
The recommended dose of Avastin is 5 mg/kg given once every 14 days as an IV infusion until disease progression is detected.

Working in combination with chemotherapy, Avastin® is an innovative drug used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC) as well as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Avastin® is labeled as an anti-angiogenic agent and differs from other drugs used to treat MCRC and NSCLC. Anti-angiogenic agents may prevent the formation of new blood vessels which supply cancerous tumors with the oxygen and nutrients needed to grow. Avastin® works to inhibit this process (known as angiogenesis).
While initial treatment with Avastin® begins in combination with certain types of chemotherapy, it may be used as a standalone treatment if chemotherapy is altered or discontinued.