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EU allows Avastin use with Xeloda

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given pharmaceutical company Roche a boost in its drug Avastin, which the EMA deems appropriate for use with another treatment called Xeloda, also made by Roche.

Roche has been hit by regulatory setbacks in Europe and the U.S., whose Food and Drug Administration moved to limit the use of Avastin for breast cancer. Avastin is a drug that can treat other cancers as well, but its efficacy for breast cancer has been hotly contested and become a point of political debate.

Roche, a Swiss drug company, responded to the EMA's decision by saying that Avastin in conjunction with Xeloda would offer patients and doctors more options as to their treatments.

In developed countries, the likelihood that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer is about one in eight. Last year, more than 200,000 women in the U.S. were newly diagnosed with the disease. Researchers have linked increased exercise with a lower likelihood of having breast cancer.
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