Navigation Links
Cancer Drug Ups Risk of Clots in Veins
Date:11/18/2008

Those on Avastin faced 33% increased risk of dangerous side effect

TUESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The widely used cancer drug Avastin appears to be associated with a greater risk of developing blood clots in the veins of patients with a variety of cancers.

This risk lengthens an already long list of severe side effects associated with the drug, including clots in the artery, heart attacks, stroke and bowel perforation.

It has previously been recognized that Avastin caused clots in arteries, but it was unclear whether it resulted in similar problems in veins, a condition known as venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The new research, published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, may indicate a need not only for prophylactic measures to reduce the risk, but also for a black box warning to be added to the package insert, the authors stated.

"Prophylactic considerations should be given for patients at high risk for VTE, and benefits/risk should be evaluated in patients who develop VTE on Avastin," added study senior author Dr. Shenhong Wu, an assistant professor of medical oncology at Stony Brook University Cancer Center, in Stony Brook, N.Y.

"A lot of clinicians have kept all along a healthy respect for [these side effects]," added Dr. John Marshall, chief of hematology/oncology at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. "What this study does suggest is that we should think more about prophylaxis. Do I think this has the potential to change the official language in the package insert? Yes, I do."

Avastin (bevacizumab) is the first member of a family of drugs designed to attack cancers by cutting off their blood supply. It does this by inhibiting the action of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that promotes the growth of blood vessels.

Avastin was first approved in 2004 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of lung and colon cancer. It became controversial in 2008, when the FDA approved it for use against advanced breast cancer, despite a 5-4 vote by an advisory committee against that approval. Committee members said the drug's ability to slow tumor progression did not outweigh the damage done by side effects such as blood clots and cardiovascular problems.

The authors analyzed 15 previously conducted studies involving a total of almost 8,000 patients with different types of advanced solid tumors.

Patients who took Avastin had a 33 percent increased risk of developing VTE, compared with controls. The risk was higher regardless of whether the individual was taking a low dose of Avastin or a high dose.

People with colon cancer had the highest risk of developing VTE (19 percent of patients). Almost 15 percent of those with non-small cell lung cancer, 7.3 percent of breast cancer patients, and 3 percent of those with kidney cancer developed VTE.

"They were able to expand the sample size, and it looks like a significant increase in venous blood clots," said Dr. Alok Khorana, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "Even though the event rate is not that high, it's still high enough that we need to exercise caution in using the drug. Patients need to be aware of the symptoms of blood clots -- swelling in the leg, sudden chest pain, shortness of breath -- and physicians need to be aware."

"It is a tough choice. Avastin is a very effective drug, no question about it. It certainly impacts on survival by a significant amount of time," said Khorana. "Even though this report is concerning, it doesn't make me stop wanting to use Avastin. It's more of an awareness issue, and making sure both patients and providers are aware of the side effect."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on angiogenesis inhibitors.



SOURCES: Shenhong Wu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, medical oncology, Stony Brook University Cancer Center, Stony Brook, N.Y.; John Marshall, M.D., chief, hematology/oncology, Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, D.C.; Alok Khorana, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, N.Y., and member, American Society of Clinical Oncology's Venous Thromboembolism Guidelines Panel; Nov. 19, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
2. Survival differences by race most apparent in advanced stages of breast cancer
3. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
4. Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
5. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
6. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
7. Diet high in meat, fat and refined grains linked to risk for colon cancer recurrence, death
8. Immune deficiency linked to a type of eye cancer
9. Drop in breast cancer incidence linked to hormone use, not mammograms
10. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
11. First biomarker discovered that predicts prostate cancer outcome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cancer Drug Ups Risk of Clots in Veins
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... 29, 2017 , ... An inventor from Raynham, Mass., knows ... in conjunction with my braces always rubbed against the inside of my cheeks, ... this problem." The O.B.S. was the result of his brainstorming. , This patent-pending ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... HealthCareMandA.com will host an ... 20, 2017, at 1:00 PM ET. A recording of the webinar will also be ... Series. , Home health and hospice companies are still popular targets for healthcare investors. ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... in many scientific laboratories. The assembly protocols involve many repetitive steps and often ... for automation, which enables the high-throughput needed, and results in a lower error ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... Immunotherapy has emerged as one of ... and is touted to be the next revolution in our fight against this complex ... the form of immune checkpoint inhibitors such as PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors. , While ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... Hamlin ... Northridge , is now offering laser dental treatments. Dental lasers are safe and effective ... dentistry expands patients’ options and can improve the overall quality of care. , Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017 Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: ... the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 following the close ... release will be followed by a teleconference available to all ... a link to the conference call webcast will be available ... the teleconference call and replay: ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... their offering. ... The ablation device global market is expected to grow at high ... Ablation is the minimally invasive therapeutic tissue excision procedure used ... removal, to the removal of abnormally conducting cardiac tissue in atrial ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  Designers of primary cell ... solution size by 50% and extend battery life with ... management integrated circuit (PMIC) from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. ... a low input voltage of just 0.7V for new ... Silver Oxide, as well as the more common Alkaline ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: