FDA Panel Says Avastin Should be Pulled from Market

FDA Panel Says Avastin Should be Pulled from MarketAn advisory panel for the FDA unanimously rejected arguments made by pharmaceutical company Genentech on June 29, that claimed its controversial anti-cancer drug should remain a standard treatment for breast cancer, CNN Health reports.

According to the news source, the panel agreed that studies done on breast cancer patients showed they gained no benefit from the drug.

The medicine was provisionally approved by the FDA in 2008, but last year the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research conducted larger studies that yielded less impressive results, leading the center to recommend withdrawing the approval, CNN said.

Genentech scientist Dr. Sandra Horning cited memos from 2008 in which the FDA said positive comments about the drug, and argued that Avastin was still the best treatment option available, the media outlet reports.

"In the context of an untreatable disease and terminal illness," Horning said, "it is best for patients to continue to have this treatment option."

According to Avastin's website, harmful side effects of the drug can include stroke or heart problems, high blood pressure and vision disturbances.