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Bevacizumab Approved for Late-Stage Cervical Cancer — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 18, 2014

Bevacizumab Approved for Late-Stage Cervical Cancer

By Kristin J. Kelley

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

The FDA has approved bevacizumab (Avastin) for metastatic, persistent, or recurrent cervical cancer to be used in combination with chemotherapy.

In a trial of some 450 patients, overall survival increased by 16.8 months when bevacizumab was added to chemotherapy, compared with 12.9 months for chemotherapy alone. Writing in NEJM Journal Watch Oncology and Hematology, Susana Campos calls bevacizumab "the first biological therapeutic agent to have a clinically meaningful impact in cervical cancer."

Treatment side effects may include decreased appetite, fatigue, headache, hyperglycemia, hypertension, urinary tract infection, and weight loss. Additionally, enterovaginal fistula and perforations of the gastrointestinal tract were seen in some patients.

Bevacizumab was already approved for treating some types of brain, colon, kidney, and lung cancers. (The drug's breast cancer indication was revoked in 2011.) The drug disrupts blood vessels that help cancerous cells grow.

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