Bevacizumab

Brand Names

Avastin® (There may be other brand names for this medication.)

How is it Administered?

Your medicine will be given by infusion into a vein (intravenous or IV), usually in your arm, wrist, hand or chest.

What is Bevacizumab Used For?

Bevacizumab is given to treat colon, rectal, and kidney cancer (renal cell) that has spread to other parts of the body; non-small cell lung cancer; and glioblastoma (a type of malignant brain tumor).

How Does it Work?

Bevacizumab is a type of targeted therapy, rather than traditional chemotherapy. Specifically, it is a monoclonal antibody.

Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells multiply without control. Traditional chemotherapy agents identify cancer cells by their rapid rate of multiplication — and then attack those cells. Unfortunately, it also attacks normal cells that multiply quickly. Targeted therapy identifies other differences between normal cells and cancer cells, and then uses that difference to attack the cancer cells, sparing more of the normal cells.

Bevacizumab works like your body’s natural antibodies — by recognizing and attaching to a specific antigen (protein) on the cancer cell. The antibody and antigen fit together like a lock and key. When they lock together, it signals the immune system to destroy that cell.

Bevacizumab targets the protein, VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). VEGF plays an important role in the formation of new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. Bevacizumab is an anti-angiogenic agent. It interferes with the cancer’s ability to build the new blood vessels it needs to get oxygen and nutrients. This may slow the growth and spread of tumors.

Continue Reading Detailed Drug Profile