Majority of doctors say FDA's rejection of Avastin was a good idea

Feb 22, 2011

Debate over breast cancer drug ongoing

A controversial decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull breast cancer drug Avastin from approved use was generally applauded by the medical community, but it was far from a universal opinion, according to the results of a study performed by online physician hub Sermo.

Just over half - 58 percent - of physicians polled by Sermo said the FDA's recommendation that Avastin no longer be used to treat breast cancer was a good idea. However, the site said one oncologist's opinion was that the decision was a hasty one.

"[I]f folks can get 'caught up' on the survival endpoint by being able to take Avastin at the time of progression, how can one possibly prove a survival advantage overall," the doctor said.

Half of the doctors polled by Sermo said Avastin could still have positive health effects for breast cancer patients.

The best way to avoid breast cancer is still early detection, experts say. Regular mammography can catch tumors before they metastasize, causing increased health and life insurance premiums as well as possible death.

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