How Avastin Treats Advanced Cancer

Avastin (Bevacizumab) is a targeted cancer therapy for various types of advanced and metastatic cancers.

Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment where cancer drugs are used to target cancer cells, while seeking to minimize the damage to normal, healthy cells.

Avastin cancer treatment is currently approved for treating 6 different types of metastatic and advanced cancers, including colorectal cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, cervical cancer, brain cancer and ovarian cancer.

In most cases, Avastin is administered with other chemotherapy treatments, as it may be given when a cancer has spread into other areas or used as a second-line treatment, when an initial treatment has stopped working or no longer works.

How Avastin Cancer Treatment Works
Avastin is an angiogenesis inhibitor. The treatment is designed to inhibit angiogenesis, a process within the body that builds new blood vessels, which is a key component to supporting tumor growth.

Avastin stops cancer from growing, or spreading, by cutting off the cancer’s blood supply. The drug is a monoclonal antibody , which is a man made version of a specific immune system protein), that targets a particular protein known as VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor), which is responsible for stimulating the growth of new blood vessels that will allow the tumor to grow and spread.

Avastin was the first angiogenesis inhibitor approved for the treatment of cancer in the United States.

It is given intravenously in combination with other chemotherapy drugs, generally once, every two to three weeks for as long as the treatment is working.

Side Effects
Much like any type of cancer treatment, Avastin may induce various side effects, some of which are common, while others may be more serious.

Common Side Effects
The following are some more common side effects.

  • Mild nose bleeding

  • Headache

  • High blood pressure

  • Skin rash

These side effects are generally mild and manageable.

Less Common Side Effects
Symptoms of severe abdominal pain, unusual bleeding or a wound not healing could be related to more serious, less common side effects associated with Avastin.

In addition to the previously mentioned side effects, Avastin can cause fetal harm, so it is important not to become pregnant while on Avastin or to breast feed while receiving Avastin.

Showing Promise
Across the board, more medical studies have shown an excellent response to Avastin as a cancer treatment. For various types of cancers, this treatment is improving the lives of patients with cancer and it is giving all of us hope to find a cure.

More Cancer Information
Visit our new cancer treatments page to learn more about other treatments and drugs.

Visit our Clinical Trials page to find more information on clinical trials for cancer treatments.