Kidney (renal cell) cancer
Avastin, also known as bevacizumab, is a targeted therapy for the treatment of a number of cancers. For patients with advanced kidney cancer, Avastin is given in combination with a type of treatment called interferon.
Avastin is not funded by PHARMAC. This means you will need to pay for the medicine yourself.
Ask your doctor if Avastin is right for you.
How Avastin works
Avastin is not a cure for kidney cancer, but it may give you more time before your cancer grows and spreads further.
Avastin works by blocking an important growth factor called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. This disrupts blood flow to the cancer, restricting the supply of nutrients that it needs to grow and spread.
For the treatment of advanced kidney cancer, Avastin is given in combination with interferon. Because Avastin and interferon work in different ways, the two types of medicine complement each other when they are used to treat cancer.
How to access Avastin
Avastin is not funded by PHARMAC for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer. This means that you will need to pay for the medicine yourself. If you have health insurance, carefully check what is covered – every health insurance provider has different rules and benefits that cover cancer treatment, surgery, tests and appointments.
Roche has created a Cost Share Programme which offers assistance with the cost of the medicine.
The Avastin Cost Share Programme caps the total cost or number of cycles you have to pay for Avastin. Once a patient reaches the cap, Roche will provide ongoing Avastin at no cost. However, other costs such as doctor fees and administration costs will still apply.
Ready to take the next step
All treatments need to be considered in line with your individual situation, and your doctor will determine whether Avastin is the right treatment for you.
We’ve put together a discussion guide to help you begin a conversation with your doctor. Print it off, take it along to your next appointment, and take notes in the spaces provided.
Talking to your doctor about Avastin
For further information about private treatment providers click here.
You can also talk to your current doctor about referral to a private doctor or treatment centre.