Independence Blue Cross: Approve the drug Avastin for my Mom
My mom has been battling Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) for over three years. She has gone through countless chemotherapy cycles with various drugs and months of radiation. Throughout it all, she has had terrible side effects like severe nausea, vomiting, loss of balance, and numbness in her legs and feet. However, she is a strong, stubborn person and refuses to give up. Unfortunately, Independence Blue Cross has given up on her. They have denied my mom a life saving drug called Avastin (Bevacizumab). Avastin is a tumor-starving drug that blocks blood flow to the tumor thereby causing it to stop growing and shrink. She has been given Avastin in two previous cycles of chemo and had good results with it. It is important to note that Avastin is a mainstay of standard systemic therapy in advanced NSCLC and FDA approved for that purpose. To date, the incorporation of Avastin into her chemotherapy has kept her cancer from metastasizing to new sites in her body. Avastin combined with a chemo drug Taxol (Paclitaxel) has been the secret to disease response and stabilization in my mom's situation. She has tolerated this combination the best of any regimen to date. Avastin alone did not work for my mom and in her situation it has worked only in combination with Taxol. Although she has Stage IV cancer, she has had dramatic improvement while on Avastin and Taxol. Independence Blue Cross, please approve Avastin for my mom.