Bevacizumab in the treatment of colorectal cancer

Mary F. Mulcahy*, Al B. Benson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Bevacizumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the key mediator of tumour angiogenesis, and has been shown to improve survival when given with chemotherapy to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. In a pivotal Phase III clinical trial, 813 subjects were treated with irinotecan, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin and randomised to receive placebo or bevacizumab. Median survival for the group receiving bevacizumab was increased by 30%, from 15.6 to 20.3 months (p ≤ 001). Other Phase II and III studies in colorectal cancer have demonstrated a benefit when bevacizumab is added to regimens of 5-FU and leucovorin, and 5-FU, leucovorin and oxaliplatin. The toxicity associated with bevacizumab is generally mild, consisting of manageable hypertension, clinically insignificant proteinuria and mild mucosal bleeding. Infrequent severe toxicities have been reported, consisting of arterial thrombosis and gastrointestinal perforations (1.5%). Bevacizumab represents the first angiogenesis modulator that has a proven benefit in cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1005
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Angiogenesis
  • Bevacizumab
  • Colon cancer
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Rectal cancer
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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