• Adverse events in bevacizumab and chemotherapy: patient management.

      Blowers, Elaine; Hall, Kate; Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester. (2009-02)
      Bevacizumab (Avastin) is an anti-angiogenic agent recently approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer in combination with paclitaxel. It is important that nurses are familiar with the side-effects associated with this agent--several of which differ from those seen with traditional chemotherapy agents--and how these can be optimally identified, monitored and managed. Side-effects associated with bevacizumab include hypertension, proteinuria, thromboembolic events, bleeding, cardiac toxicity, wound-healing complications and gastrointestinal perforations. Many of these are easily manageable, often without the need to discontinue bevacizumab therapy. This article, the second in a series, provides nurses with management recommendations for these toxicities in order to deliver optimal patient care and improve patients quality of life.
    • 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.