Marketed by Genentech, Avastin received priority review following encouraging safety and efficacy results.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new use for Avastin (bevacizumab) to treat patients with persistent, recurrent or late-stage (metastatic) cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer grows in the tissues of the lower part of the uterus known as the cervix. It commonly occurs when human papillomaviruses (HPV), a virus that spreads through sexual contact, cause cells to become cancerous. Although there are two licensed vaccines available to prevent many types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, the National Cancer Institute estimates that 12,360 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,020 will die from the disease in 2014.
Avastin works by interfering with the blood vessels that fuel the development of cancerous cells. The new indication for cervical cancer is approved for use in combination with chemotherapy drugs paclitaxel and cisplatin or in combination with paclitaxel and topotecan.
“Avastin is the first drug approved for patients with late-stage cervical cancer since the 2006 approval of topotecan with cisplatin,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “It is also the first biologic agent approved for patients with late-stage cervical cancer and was approved in less than four months under the FDA’s priority review program, demonstrating the agency’s commitment to making promising therapies available to patients faster.”