• Managing adverse events in the use of bevacizumab and chemotherapy.

      Blowers, Elaine; Hall, Kate; Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester. (2009-02)
      The anti-angiogenic agent bevacizumab (Avastin) has received regulatory approval for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in combination with the taxane chemotherapy agent paclitaxel. A range of side-effects associated with this agent have been identified across different tumour types; these are known to differ from those frequently reported with chemotherapy agents. This article is part one of a two-part literature review that was conducted to provide insight into the range, frequency and severity of adverse events that arise specifically in breast cancer when bevacizumab is combined with cytotoxic chemotherapy. PubMed and the websites of oncology conferences were searched to identify studies of bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in patients with MBC. Seventeen studies met the search criteria, including 3,836 bevacizumab-treated patients. Side-effects associated with bevacizumab included hypertension, proteinuria, thromboembolic events, bleeding and cardiac toxicity. Part two of the series will appear in the next issue of BJN.