Bevacizumab is part of a group of medications known as monoclonal antibodies. It is an antibody that is designed to bind to and inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is a naturally occurring protein that encourages the growth of new blood vessels (including blood vessels that feed cancers). By binding to VEGF, bevacizumab prevents this protein from encouraging new blood vessel growth, essentially "starving" the cancer of its blood supply.
Because bevacizumab does not directly kill cells, it is not considered a chemotherapy medication and does not cause many of the usual chemotherapy side effects. However, it is approved only to be used in combination with chemotherapy.
Is Bevacizumab Used in Children?
Bevacizumab is not approved for use in children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children.
Is Bevacizumab Used for Off-Label Avastin Reasons?
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend bevacizumab for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. Off-label bevacizumab uses include treatment for:
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Avastin [package insert]. San Francisco (CA): Genentech, Inc.;2013 January.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. FDA begins process to remove breast cancer indication from Avastin label (12/16/2010). FDA Web site. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2010/ucm237172.htm. Accessed March 15, 2011.
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