Surprising results from two new studies may reopen debate about the value of the drug Avastin (uh-VAS'-tihn) for breast cancer. Researchers found that Avastin helped make tumors disappear in certain women with early-stage disease.
The government recently revoked Avastin's approval for treating advanced breast cancer. However, the new studies suggest it might help women whose disease has not spread so widely.
Although encouraging, the results are still preliminary. The true test is whether Avastin improves survival, and it's too soon to know that because the studies are still tracking women's health. The drug also has serious side effects.
Results of the studies are in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.