New Study Suggests Higher Rate of Fatal Events When Avastin and Chemotherapy Used Together

The timely and accurate diagnosis of cancer is essential in ensuring a patient receives the proper treatment as well as the best chance at survival. Even when cancer is accurately and timely diagnosed, medical professionals are responsible for ensuring patients receive the proper medications which pose the least danger to their health.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Avastin, a drug used to treat cancer, is under fire after a new study suggests a link between the drug and an increased occurrence of fatalities when combined with other chemotherapy.

The drug is approved for treatment in brain, colon, kidney, and lung cancer, when prescribed in combination with chemotherapy drugs. Clinical data has revealed that the addition of Avastin to chemotherapy to treat lung and colon cancer improves a patient’s survival; however, the benefit is not as apparent in other kinds of cancer. In December 2010, the FDA acted to remove the approval of the drug for treatment in advanced stages of breast cancer since the drug did not “prolong overall survival in breast cancer patients or provide significant benefit in slowing disease progression to outweigh the significant risk to patients.”

The study was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association based on research at Stony Brook University Medical Center. It examined 16 clinical trials previously conducted, which analyzed over 10,000 patients. The study was devised to contrast the fatal adverse event rate of patients treated with chemotherapy and Avastin against patients treated only with chemotherapy. A fatal adverse event is an event in which it is concluded a drug was a significant cause of the fatality. Overall, the study found that the occurrence of fatal adverse events was 2.5 percent for patients treated with both chemotherapy and Avastin, in comparison to 1.7 percent for patients treated with chemotherapy. The study found that bleeding, a blood disorder called neutropenia, and gastrointestinal perforation, were the most common conditions resulting in fatality.

If you believe you have not been properly treated by medical professionals for your disease, the New Jersey incorrect treatment attorneys at Blume Forte can help. To schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our lawyers, call 973-845-4421.

Related Articles: