FDA approves new treatment for brain cancer

The FDA approved Genentech Inc.’s oncology drug Avastin as a treatment of brain tumor patients.

Government regulators granted accelerated approval for Avastin for people with glioblastoma who have experienced a progression of the disease following prior treatment. Glioblastoma affects 10,000 people per year nationwide. Glioblastoma tumors nearly always return following initial treatment.

Dr. Lisa Fichtel, a medical oncologist and hematologist with the START Center for Cancer Care in San Antonio, says she has witnessed first hand how this drug has helped patients with brain cancer.

“This is the first new treatment in more than 10 years for people with this type of aggressive brain cancer,” Fichtel says.

Fichtel sees at least one new brain cancer patient each week and has seen the positive impact this drug has had in not only slowing the progression of the disease but also improving the quality of life of patients in San Antonio.

Genentech gained FDA approval after concluding an open-label, multicenter, non-comparative Phase II study of 167 patients with glioblastoma. The South San Francisco-based biotechnology company works to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize medicines that treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions.

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