Bevacizumab (Avastin®)

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Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody which binds to and neutralises the activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) A, a molecule which plays an instrumental role in angiogenesis. This inhibition starves the tumour of blood causing it to shrink. Bevacizumab is marketed by Roche/Genentech as Avastin for use in colorectal cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma and kidney cancer in combination with chemotherapy. Bevacizumab has been shown to prolong survival rates in cancer. Adverse effects such as hypertension, proteinuria and haemorrhages (most commonly nosebleeds) have been associated with bevacizumab. In rare cases more severe side-effects such as gastrointestinal tract perforations and congestive heart failure have been reported.