How It Works
Bevacizumab belongs to a group of drugs
known as monoclonal antibodies. It blocks a protein called vascular endothelial
growth factor (VEGF) that helps cancer cells grow and multiply. Bevacizumab
inhibits the ability of the cancer to form and grow new blood vessels.
Bevacizumab is an
intravenous (IV) drug.
Why It Is Used
Bevacizumab is used to treat cancer, including colorectal and lung cancers. It is also used for brain tumors and kidney cancer. Bevacizumab may be used to treat cancers that are continuing to grow despite other treatment (treatment-resistant), cancers that have spread to other organs (metastasized), or cancers that have come back (recurrent).
How Well It Works
Bevacizumab seems to slow down tumor growth with some cancers when added to other medicines used in chemotherapy. This helps people with metastatic or recurrent cancer live a little longer.1
Studies are being done to find the most effective combinations of medicines with bevacizumab for chemotherapy. Researchers are also looking to find the best ways to use bevacizumab with surgery or radiation.
Bevacizumab combined with
carboplatin and paclitaxel has been shown to help people with advanced
non-small-cell lung cancer live longer.2
Bevacizumab can cause serious side
- Holes in the colon (perforation) that may
require surgical repair.
- Bleeding in the lungs, when the medicine
is used with chemotherapy for lung cancer.
Other side effects can include:
Bevacizumab and other medicines that block vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) may cause high blood pressure.3 Your doctor will check and closely watch your blood pressure, especially when you first start taking bevacizumab.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Bevacizumab should be administered
only under the supervision of a
cause birth defects. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or wish to
become pregnant or father a child while you are taking it.
Bevacizumab has been approved for use only by adults. There is no
specific information comparing use of bevacizumab in children with use in other
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Libutti SK, et al. (2008). Colon cancer. In VT DeVita Jr et al., eds., DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg's Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 8th ed., vol. 1, pp. 1232-1285. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2006). FDA approves new combination therapy for lung cancer. FDA News. Available online: http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/2006/ucm108766.htm.
Maitland ML, et al. (2010). Initial assessment, surveillance, and management of blood pressure in patients receiving vascular endothelial growth factor signaling pathway inhibitors. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 102(9): 596-604.