Drug maker Genentech has announced that it has received green signal from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its drug Avastin in combination chemotherapy for treating cervical cancers.
According to a FDA release, women with recurrent, persistent or metastatic cervical cancer can be treated in a regime combining Avastin (bevacizumab) with the chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and cisplatin or in combination with topotecan and paclitaxel.
Richard Pazdur, from FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the release, “Avastin is the first drug approved for patients with late-stage cervical cancer since the 2006 approval of topotecan with cisplatin.”
Researchers behind the drug said Avastin has the ability to combat the cancers by lowering the formation of tumors and maintaining blood vessels on which cancerous cells depend for their growth (process known as angiogenesis).
The drug got FDA approval following rigorous clinical studies involving over 450 patients with all forms of cervical cancers, i.e. recurring, persistent and metastatic stages.
According to the federal health body, the drug was approved under the priority review process of the administration that is intended to allow a quick review of a drug application.
The FDA further added that approval came fast as Avastin’s demonstration showed that it has potential to provide a substantial improvement in safety and effectiveness over available therapies.
According to National Cancer Institute estimates, around 12,000 women in the US will have a diagnosis of cervical cancer and as many as 4,000 will succumb to the disease this year.
Cervical cancer occurs due to human papillomaviruses (HPV) which causes cells to become cancerous. It commonly spreads through sexual contact.