Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) is a tumor-starving (anti-angiogenic) therapy. Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) is designed to block a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. Normal cells make VEGF, but some cancer cells make too much VEGF. Blocking VEGF may prevent the growth of new blood vessels, including normal blood vessels and blood vessels that feed tumors.
Unlike chemotherapy that attacks the cancer cells, the purpose of Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) is to block the blood supply that feeds the tumor. This can stop the tumor from growing.
Tumor with Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) and chemotherapy
Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) helps prevent blood vessels from reaching the tumor; this could starve the tumor.
However, in a study of mCRC patients who continued on Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) for second-line treatment after a first-line treatment that included Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg), tumors did not shrink.
Possible serious side effects
Everyone reacts differently to Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) therapy. So it’s important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not. Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if there are any signs of these side effects. Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):
GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
Wounds that don’t heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor
Other possible serious side effects
Abnormal passage in the body. This type of passage—known as a fistula—is an irregular connection from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) and after stopping treatment
Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
Infusion reactions. These were uncommon with the first dose (less than 3% of patients). 0.2% of patients had severe reactions. Infusion reactions include high blood pressure or severe high blood pressure that may lead to stroke, trouble breathing, decreased oxygen in red blood cells, a serious allergic reaction, chest pain, headache, tremors, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
Severe stroke or heart problems. These may include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
Nervous system and vision problems. Signs include headache, seizure, high blood pressure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness
Side effects seen most often
In clinical studies across different types of cancer, some patients experienced the following side effects:
High blood pressure
Too much protein in the urine
Inflammation of the skin
Inflammation of the nose
Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) is not for everyone
Talk to your doctor if you are:
Undergoing surgery.Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) should not be used for 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
Pregnant, think you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Data have shown that Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) may harm your unborn baby. Use birth control while on Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg). If you stop Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg), you should keep using birth control for 6 months before trying to become pregnant. Taking Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) could cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children. Breastfeeding while on Avastin 400 mg (bevacizumab 400 mg) may harm your baby and is therefore not recommended.
If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.