Ovarian Cancer Study Results Renew Avastin Debate

June 6, 2011

Bloombergs Businessweek

George Coukos, MD, PhD, director of the Penn Ovarian Cancer Research Center, is quoted in a Bloomberg News story about new findings presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting showing that the drug Avastin -- which is approved for use in several other cancers -- delayed progression of ovarian cancer but did not show an improvement in survival. The results have renewed debate over whether Avastin, the world’s best-selling cancer drug, offers enough benefits to merit U.S. marketing approval for use in the disease given its side effects and costs -- which run to nearly $60,000 a year per patient. “There has to be very careful consideration of the costs and benefits because the drug is quite expensive,” Coukos said. “It depends on the margin of benefit one draws and the cost that society is willing to pay for that margin." Read More