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Study finds treatment-related mortality with bevacizumab in cancer patients

November 25, 2015

According to background information in the article, the authors write, "Even though a number of FAEs have been reported in patients treated with bevacizumab, its role in the development of these fatal events has not been definitively established. Data across bevacizumab trials reveal conflicting results regarding its associations with FAEs."

Dr. Wu and colleagues reported that the overall incidence of FAEs with bevacizumab was 2.5 percent. Compared with chemotherapy alone, the addition of bevacizumab was associated with a 1.5 times increased risk of FAEs. This association varied significantly with chemotherapeutic agents but not with tumor types or bevacizumab doses. Bevacizumab was associated with a 3.5 times increased risk of FAEs in patients receiving taxanes or platinum agents (3.3 percent vs. 1.0 percent), but was not associated with increased risk of FAEs when used in conjunction with other agents. Common specific causes of FAEs included hemorrhage (23.5 percent), neutropenia (a blood disorder; 12.2 percent), gastrointestinal tract perforation (7.1 percent), pulmonary embolism (5.1 percent), and cerebrovascular accident (5.1 percent). Pulmonary (14/23) and gastrointestinal hemorrhage (6/23) accounted for most fatal bleeding events.

Source: Stony Brook University School of Medicine