The Los Angeles Times (7/1, Rick) reports that Avastin (bevacizumab) “can cause significant kidney damage in some patients,” according to a new study.
Researchers, “reporting in this month’s issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology…wrote that patients on Avastin were at increased risk of severe protein loss from the kidneys, which can lead to permanent damage.” Altogether, “patients on Avastin were at a fourfold risk for protein loss and kidney damage, depending on dosage and the type of cancer.”
Kidney problems are the second serious condition linked to the cancer drug. Last year it was found that some patients on Avastin were at elevated risk of intestinal perforations.
For cancer patients, Avastin – which can cost as much as $50,000 a year – already carries a so-called black-box warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency’s highest level of caution because of problems that emerged after its approval, experts said.
The drug can cause hemorrhaging in some patients and seriously interferes with wound healing in those who’ve undergone surgery.
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