Health: A Drug That Starves Tumors

When the FDA approved Genentech's colorectal cancer drug Avastin last week, it also validated a cancer-fighting strategy proposed more than 30 years ago. Avastin is the first in what researchers hope will be a whole new class of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors, which attack tumors by thwarting their ability to create blood vessels--thus starving cancer cells of oxygen and nutrients. In trials, Avastin has been shown to give patients, on average, an additional five months of life. Cost of a 10month course of treatment: about $50,000. --D.B.


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