Avastin, the blockbuster drug that just lost approval for treating breast cancer, now looks disappointing against ovarian cancer, too. Two studies found it did not improve survival for most of these patients and kept their disease from worsening for only a few months, with more side effects. The Genentech drug won approval in Europe last week for advanced ovarian cancer. But its maker has no immediate plans to seek the same approval in the US.
After talking with the FDA, "we do not believe the data will support approval," although no final decision has been made, said a spokeswoman for Genentech. Avastin can still be sold for some colon, lung, kidney, and brain cancers. The new research was aimed at adding ovarian cancer to the list. Results of the studies are in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine. (Read more Avastin stories.)