Avastin, a drug developed by Roche Holding Ltd. (PINK:RHHBY) (FRA:RHO5), has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration for additional use in the treatment of colon cancer.

This new approval is for patients who suffer from colon cancer that has worsened even though they have already been treated with Avastin and chemotherapy.


The expanded use of Avastin comes from a Phase III study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The study showed that people who were still being treated with Avastin after their cancer worsened lived longer on average than those who were switched to just chemotherapy by itself.

According to Medical News Today, the study indicated that there was a 19 percent reduction in the risk of death for those who added Avastin to their chemotherapy treatments in both the first and second rounds of treatment compared to those who were treated with just chemotherapy. The study also found that the risk of the cancer worsening dropped 32 percent.

“The majority of people diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer receive Avastin plus chemotherapy as their initial treatment,” said Hal Barron, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Roche Holding Ltd. (PINK:RHHBY) (FRA:RHO5) in a statement. “These people now have the option to continue with Avastin plus a new chemotherapy after their cancer worsens, which may help them live longer than changing to the new chemotherapy alone.”

Thus far Avastin is the only FDA-approved drug that is being used to treat metastatic colon cancer in combination with chemotherapy. It is also used to treat people whose cancer has worsened after they were treated with chemotherapy.