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Controversial Avastin breast cancer drug to receive June hearing

Following a December 2010 decision to remove the breast cancer indication from Avastin, a cancer drug developed by Genentech, the FDA has agreed to meet with the pharmaceutical company for a second hearing on June 28 and 29, according to Reuters.

Avastin is still approved and recommended for other cancers, but Genentech is fighting the FDA's removal of support for Avastin for metastatic breast cancer.

"We appreciate the opportunity to continue our discussion with the FDA during a public hearing about the use of Avastin in metastatic breast cancer," wrote Hal Barron, Genentech's chief medical officer.

In its request for another hearing, Genentech said that the FDA lacked appropriate breast cancer specialists on its panel, but Dr. Karen Midthun, the Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, responded that many breast cancer experts had already expressed their views or were in conflict-of-interest positions in association with other drug companies.

Breast cancer currently affects more than 200,000 new female patients every year, according to the American Cancer Society.  
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