WASHINGTON (AP) - A drug made by Genentech received federal
approval on Friday to treat breast cancer, a decision that could
represent a major shift in standards for assessing the
effectiveness of cancer medicines.
Going against the recommendation of its advisory panel, the Food
and Drug Administration cleared Genentech's Avastin, which is
already approved for treating lung and colon cancer, based on
findings that it slowed tumor growth.
The agency has traditionally approved drugs for late-stage
cancer if they extended, or improved the quality of, patients'
lives. Avastin showed neither, according to Genentech's
Wall Street analysts believe FDA's Avastin decision opens the
door for other cancer drugs to be approved for their
tumor-shrinking capabilities - a trend that worries some health
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)