Dr. Burger on Bevacizumab Toxicity in Ovarian Cancer
Robert A. Burger, MD, Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Director, Women’s Cancer Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center, discusses the toxicity profile of bevacizumab when used to treat patients with ovarian cancer.
Burger says patients with ovarian cancer tolerate bevacizumab well as a single-agent therapy. While there are no immediately noticeable side effects, some patients can develop muscular and joint manifestations with prolonged treatment.
In phase III trails, Burger says, the rate of clinically significant hypertension, requiring medical management, was in the range of 20%. Burger says patients should be monitored for hypertension.
There is also a 2-5% chance of potentially life-threatening complications, Burger says, including gastrointestinal perforation, stroke, and heart attack. Since the risk is numerically low, one has to weigh the difference between the potential for a serious complication and potential benefit.