Bevacizumab (Avastinฎ) is an anti-angiogenesis drug used in treatment of cancer. It is used in combination with standard chemotherapy drugs in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved bevacizumab for use in colon cancer 2004. The medicine is sold in the United States by Genentech, Inc. under the name Avastin.
Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody, and was the first commercially available angiogenesis inhibitor. It stops tumor growth by preventing the formation of new blood vessels by targeting and inhibiting the function of a natural protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that stimulates new blood vessel formation.
The drug was first developed as a genetically engineered version of a mouse antibody that contains both human and mouse components. Genentech is able to produce the antibody in production-scale quantities.
Bevacizumab was approved by the FDA in February 2004 for use in colorectal cancer when used with standard chemotherapy treatment. It was approved by the European Commission in January 2005 for use in colorectal cancer. Israel has also approved the use of Bevacizumab.
Bevacizumab is usually given intravenously through the arm every 14 days. In colon cancer, it is given in combination with the chemotherapy drug 5-FU (5-fluorouracil), leucovorin, and oxaliplatin or irinotecan.
Bevacizumab has also demonstrated activity in kidney cancer and ovarian cancer when used as a single agent, and in lung cancer and breast cancer when combined with chemotherapy.
Several adverse side effects have occurred due to the drug, with two of the most common being hypertension and blood clots. Neutropenia, neuropathy, and proteinuria also occurred at times.
Bowel perforation has also rarely been reported.
Note: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Bevacizumab.