Although this is an orthodox chemotherapy treatment, it is substantial news, and I decided to speak about it nevertheless because of the high scrutiny under which Avastin (bevacizumab) has been subjected. This substance already has approval for a variety of cancers, such as colon, brain, kidney, and lung cancers.
Bevacizumab (Avastin) works by blocking angiogenesis (i.e., the growth of new blood vessels that enable tumors to grow). It is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A). It was the first angiogenesis inhibitor available in the United States for clinical applications. It received its first approval for cancer treatment in 2004 when used in combination with standard chemotherapy for metastatic colon cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
In 2008, the FDA granted the drug accelerated approval based on experimental evidence that it slowed the growth of breast cancer tumors for more than five months when combined with other forms of chemotherapy. This was very controversial because the FDA’s advisory panel did not vote to approve it for this use due to its failure to extend survival. FDA approval is not required to market Genentech’s drug for the breast cancer indication. Physicians can still prescribe it for breast cancer, but the lack of the FDA approval makes insurance companies less likely to cover its expense.
In follow up studies, the delay in tumor growth was only shown to last less than three months, in addition to a lack of extended survival. And patients suffered from a lot of side effects. Some of the more serious side effects are: cardiovascular problems including strokes, mini-strokes, chest pain (angina), blood clots and heart attacks; proteinuria (protein spillover into the urine) that may lead to fatal kidney problems; hypertension; nervous system and vision disturbances that may cause hypertension, seizures, confusion, lethargy, headaches and blindness; infusion reactions that may include redness & swelling at the injection site, difficulty breathing, decreased oxygen levels in red blood cells, tremors, excessive sweating and allergic reactions.
Many people think that this will be a critical test of the FDA’s accelerated approval process. There are a lot of industry influences, and if Genentech can get the FDA to approve a drug of dubious efficacy for breast cancer, it will be strong proof (even to those who vehemently defend and believe in the Cancer Establishment) that the drug approval process has become totally politicized and manipulated by Big Pharma companies. It’s pretty bad when Big Pharma companies (like Roche and Genentech) can’t fudge up their own studies to make Avastin appear to be effective for breast cancer.
This is kind of insane when you think of the marginal ‘effectiveness’ of Avastin. It doesn’t even extend a cancer patient’s life, and only extends ‘progression-free survival’, whatever that means. But a year of treatment with Avastin can run more than $100,000, so one has to wonder about the risk-reward ratio for this ‘treatment’. As always, there is no way that a poisonous prescription drug can be a long-term cure for a medical condition. It’s indicative of a theory and paradigm that is based on fallacious reasoning. But that is only if you assume that the main goal of standardized medicine is to cure patients.
From what is observed, big profits seem to be a higher priority than finding a cheap, effective, non-toxic, widely-available treatment for cancer. That is why patients are charged many thousands of dollars for ‘treatments’ that are not effective. A cure, even an expensive cure, would lead to problems for the Cancer Establishment and the Medical Establishment. Think it out to its logical conclusion. If there were a cure for cancer found, there would be howls of protest against Big Pharma if they tried to withhold lifesaving treatments to poor patients. This would destroy the profits to be yielded from selling the drug or treatment. This is why there is no honest search for a cure, nor a desire of upper management of the medical industry to find one. It would basically ‘kill the golden goose’. This is information that you won’t hear from the Medical Establishment. Think about it…