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Avastin (Bevacizumab) Indications

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD

Bevacizumab (brand name Avastin)  is an anti-cancer therapy that belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. A monoclonal antibody is a drug created in the laboratory that is designed to target and inhibit certain proteins. These agents are very specific for the molecules that they are created against.

Mechanism of action

Bevacizumab binds to and inhibits the activity of a protein present on the surface of cells called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This VEGF helps cancer cells to form new blood vessels and by blocking the action of VEGF, bevacizumab stops the cancer from developing its own blood supply

This reduces the tumor’s supply of oxygen and nutrients, causing it to stop growing and shrink. Drugs that interfere with blood vessel growth are called angiogenesis inhibitors or anti-angiogenics.

Clinical uses

The United States Food and Drugs Administration has approved bevacizumab as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced and metastatic (cancer that has spread to vital organs) carcinoma of the colon or rectum.

The therapy can also be used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer or advanced cancer of the breast, kidney or bowel. In addition, bevacizumab has been used successfully in the treatment of eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, where abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina causes the vessels to leak fluid, giving rise to retinal damage.

Administration

Bevacizumab may be given in combination with chemotherapy or when used to treat kidney cancer, it may be given alongside interferon. The drug is given as a drip into a vein (infusion) once every two or three weeks. Bevacizumab is usually administered over a period of 90 minutes for the first infusion, 60 minutes for the second infusion, with infusions thereafter lasting for about 30 minutes.

Reviewed by , BSc

Further Reading

Last Updated: Apr 2, 2014

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Comments
  1. Cristina Freixas Cristina Freixas United States says:

    My husband lost his vision after seven months of treatment with AVASTIN.

    He started to feel so tired in the last two treatments and he had rectal and nose bleeding.

    He couldn't walk and the oncologist said is not produced because of AVASTIN.

    Although the last MRI was stable, no progression of the disease. Neurosurgeon said we need to check the probably cause of this symptoms, the MRI didn't show any reason related with this symptoms. Can somebody help us?

  2. Cristina Freixas Cristina Freixas United States says:

    I forgot to comment that he had surgery for glioblastoma Multiforme on July 2012.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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