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Which biologic drugs treat nasopharyngeal cancer?

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Biologic drugs affect how your body's immune system fights disease. They are also called monoclonal antibodies.

A biologic drug called bevacizumab (Avastin) blocks production of a substance called vascular endothelial growth factor. Sorafenib (Nexavar) and pazopanib (Votrient) are drugs that also block this protein. Studies show that patients with nasopharyngeal cancer who have lower levels of vascular endothelial growth factor are more likely to remain disease-free after treatment. Bevacizumab is currently being evaluated to see if it will help improve your overall survival when combined with other treatments, such as chemotherapy. Other biologic drugs are also used. This includes the drug cetuximab (Erbitux), which targets a protein on the cancer cell’s surface. Other drugs that target this protein, including nimotuzumab and icotinib, have shown promising results in clinical trials.

From: Nasopharyngeal Cancer WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society web site: "Nasopharyngeal Cancer."

National Cancer Institute web site: "Nasopharyngeal Cancer."

Cummings, C.W., Flint, P.W., Haughey, B.H., editors. 5th ed., Mosby Elsevier, 2010. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery.

Carey, W.D., editor, , 2nd ed., Saunders Elsevier, 2010. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine 2010

Abeloff, M.D., Armitage, J.O., Niederhuber, J.E., Kastan, M.B., McKenna, W.G., editors, , 4th ed., Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2008. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology

Hui, E.P., Chan, A.T.C., Le, Q-T. "Treatment of early and locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma," UpToDate version 19.2; September 2011, last updated Nov. 14, 2011.

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on January 20, 2020

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society web site: "Nasopharyngeal Cancer."

National Cancer Institute web site: "Nasopharyngeal Cancer."

Cummings, C.W., Flint, P.W., Haughey, B.H., editors. 5th ed., Mosby Elsevier, 2010. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery.

Carey, W.D., editor, , 2nd ed., Saunders Elsevier, 2010. Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine 2010

Abeloff, M.D., Armitage, J.O., Niederhuber, J.E., Kastan, M.B., McKenna, W.G., editors, , 4th ed., Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2008. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology

Hui, E.P., Chan, A.T.C., Le, Q-T. "Treatment of early and locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma," UpToDate version 19.2; September 2011, last updated Nov. 14, 2011.

Reviewed by Gabriela Pichardo on January 20, 2020

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