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FDA Approves New Use Of Avastin Plus Chemotherapy For People With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Avastin Indications in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer:

  • Avastin is indicated for the first- or second-line treatment of patients with metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy.
  • Avastin in combination with fluoropyrimidine-irinotecan or fluoropyrimidine-oxaliplatin based chemotherapy is indicated for the second-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have progressed on a first-line Avastin containing regimen.
  • Avastin is not indicated for adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.

BOXED WARNINGS and Additional Important Safety Information

People receiving Avastin may experience side effects. In clinical trials, some people treated with Avastin experienced serious and sometimes fatal side effects, including:

Gastrointestinal (GI) perforation: Treatment with Avastin can result in the development of a serious side effect called GI perforation, which is the development of a hole in the stomach, small intestine, or large intestine. In clinical trials, this event occurred in more people who received Avastin than in the comparison group (2.4 percent to 0.3 percent). In some cases, GI perforation resulted in fatality. Avastin therapy should be permanently stopped if GI perforation occurs.

Surgery and wound healing problems: Treatment with Avastin can lead to slow or incomplete wound healing (for example, when a surgical incision has trouble healing or staying closed). In some cases, this event resulted in fatality. Surgery and wound healing problems occurred more often in people who received Avastin than in the comparison group. In a controlled clinical trial, in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had surgery during the course of treatment, the incidence of wound healing complications, including serious and fatal complications, was 15 percent for patients who received Avastin and four percent for patients who did not receive Avastin.

Avastin therapy should not be started for at least 28 days after surgery and until the surgical wound is fully healed. The length of time between stopping Avastin and having voluntary surgery without the risk of wound healing problems following surgery has not been determined. Treatment with Avastin should be stopped at least 28 days before voluntary surgery and in people with wound healing problems following surgery that require medical treatment. Treatment with Avastin should be stopped in patients with slow or incomplete wound healing.

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