Avastin is prescribed to treat certain types of cancer -- namely, colon, rectal, and non-squamous, non-small cell cancer. The drug binds to and inhibits a certain type of protein that encourages the growth of new blood vessels. As a result, the cancer is essentially "starved" of its blood supply. Avastin is given by injection at your healthcare provider's office. Side effects include stomach pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
What Is Avastin?Avastin® (bevacizumab) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Non-squamous, non-small cell lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Glioblastoma brain cancer
- Renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer).
In late 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that Avastin's breast cancer approval be removed. Studies have not shown the drug to increase survival in people with breast cancer, and there is not sufficient benefit to outweigh the risks.
This action does not affect Avastin's approval for other uses. Healthcare providers may still use Avastin to treat breast cancer, although they will be doing so in an "off-label" fashion.
(Click Avastin Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)