Bevacizumab immunotherapy is an approved off-label treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Bevacizumab is also known by its brand name, Avastin. 

Bevacizumab’s Success in Treating Other Cancers

Bevacizumab has been successful in treating other cancers, including 

  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Fallopian tube cancer
  • Glioblastoma 
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma 
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Primary peritoneal cancer
  • Renal cell cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

Bevacizumab is commonly used in a multimodal approach, meaning it is combined with other cancer therapies such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Combination treatment generally leads to better quality of life and life-expectancy outcomes than what can be achieved with one drug or one kind of cancer therapy alone.

How Bevacizumab Works

Bevacizumab is a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody drug. It works to cut off the blood supply to cancer cells by preventing the growth of new blood vessels. It does so by binding to and neutralizing a substance known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). With their blood supply cut off, cancer cells are killed off and prevented from spreading. 1

Side Effects of Bevacizumab

Common side effects of bevacizumab include

  • Low blood counts (white blood cells, healthy red blood cells, and platelets)
  • Electrolyte abnormalities (low magnesium and sodium)
  • High blood glucose
  • Low protein
  • Elevated liver enzymes 
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Heart rate and rhythm abnormalities
  • Blood clot
  • Pulmonary hemorrhage
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pelvic pain
  • Ovarian failure
  • Inflamed and sore mouth and throat
  • Hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Joint ache
  • Muscle ache 
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nosebleed
  • Fever
  • Sinusitis
  • Dry and peeling skin
  • Bruising
  • Weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty speaking 
  • Fatigue2

Bevacizumab Medicine for Mesothelioma