In the wake of cancer clinic scandal involving counterfeit Avastin, a vital medication that breast cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer patients take to cut off the blood supply to tumors, new research shows that Avastin may be more vital than ever when used in conjunction with a medication which prevents the cancer from spreading to new tissues.

Researcher Donald McDonald at the University of California at San Francisco and colleagues have tested medications which cut off the blood supply to tumors on tumor laden mice, where the tumors were confined to a “smooth and compact cell mass.” The medications, in conjunction with ones that prevent the cancer cells from spreading to new tissues by blocking a receptor called c-MET, may provide new hope for advanced cancers, reports The New Scientist.

Avastin, already on the market, is a known blood supply blocker. In conjunction with onartuzumab, an antibody that blocks signaling by c-MET, both medications are “being studied in trials for advanced triple-negative breast cancer, metastatic colorectal cancer and advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer,” said Philippe Bishop at Genentech, the maker of Avastin.

Avastin recently made the news when the FDA announced that 19 cancer clinics in the U.S. had purchased and possibly administered counterfeit Avastin to cancer patients. The counterfeit Avastin, purchased outside the legitimate supply chain, was traced through 7 distributors across two continents. Tested by the authentic manufacturer, Roche, the counterfeit medication contained no active ingredient but did contain starch, salt, and acetone.

By S. Imber