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"Colon cancer drug Avastin linked to esophagus problem"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 12 Jun 2022

Category: Harm Stories

Rating: (1½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

An advisory has been issued after the colorectal cancer drug Avastin was linked to the development of a rare, potentially fatal problem with the esophagus.
Health Canada approved the use of Avastin or bevacizumab, in combination with other drugs, to extend the lives of people with colorectal cancer that has spread to other sites.
In an advisory Tuesday, the department said use of Avastin and other cancer treatments has been linked with the development of tracheo-esophageal fistulas - abnormal connections between the esophagus (the tube from the throat to stomach) and the trachea (the windpipe), which normally remain separate.

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how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 2 of 8
Novelty of harm Satisfactory (?)
Benefit to harm ratio Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Harms Satisfactory (?)
Number of people affected by harm Not Satisfactory (?)
Stratification of patients with regard to harm Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Treatment options Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

The symptoms and warning about tracheo-esophageal fistulas associated with bevacizumab are described well. But,even so, the reader can't assess whether the "potentially fatal" adverse events with bevacizumab are worth the risk. because we don't know the rate at which patients did not have significant adverse events. What would be most helpful is knowing the evidence on the successful treatment of colon cancer compared to other treatment options and if those other options have this troubling side effect.

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