Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cancer drug used in combination with other therapies associated with increased risk of death, study finds

Date:
February 1, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
An analysis of previous studies indicates that compared with chemotherapy alone, use of the cancer drug bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy or biological therapy is associated with an increased risk of treatment-related death, according to a new study.

An analysis of previous studies indicates that compared with chemotherapy alone, use of the cancer drug bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy or biological therapy is associated with an increased risk of treatment-related death, according to an article in the February 2 issue of JAMA.

Related Articles


A fatal adverse event (FAE) is defined as a death caused in all likelihood by a drug and is a major cause of fatality in the United States. Bevacizumab was approved in combination with chemotherapy for treating many types of advanced cancer, including colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, and renal cell carcinoma. "Even though a number of FAEs have been reported in patients treated with bevacizumab, its role in the development of these fatal events has not been definitively established. Data across bevacizumab trials reveal conflicting results regarding its associations with FAEs," according to background information in the article.

Vishal Ranpura, M.D., of Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, N.Y., and colleagues conducted a review and meta-analysis of published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to determine whether bevacizumab is associated with increased rates of FAEs in patients with cancer. The researchers identified and included 16 RCTs in the analysis. These RCTs included a total of 10,217 patients with a variety of advanced solid tumors. Eligible studies included RCTs in which bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy or biological therapy was compared with chemotherapy or biological therapy alone.

The overall incidence of FAEs with bevacizumab was 2.5 percent. Compared with chemotherapy alone, the addition of bevacizumab was associated with a 1.5 times increased risk of FAEs. This association varied significantly with chemotherapeutic agents but not with tumor types or bevacizumab doses. Bevacizumab was associated with a 3.5 times increased risk of FAEs in patients receiving taxanes or platinum agents (3.3 percent vs. 1.0 percent), but was not associated with increased risk of FAEs when used in conjunction with other agents.

Common specific causes of FAEs included hemorrhage (23.5 percent), neutropenia (a blood disorder; 12.2 percent), gastrointestinal tract perforation (7.1 percent), pulmonary embolism (5.1 percent), and cerebrovascular accident (5.1 percent). Pulmonary (14/23) and gastrointestinal hemorrhage (6/23) accounted for most fatal bleeding events.

The authors write that given the absolute risk of treatment-related mortality appears low, the use of bevacizumab should be considered in the context of overall survival benefits. They add that because bevacizumab is increasingly used in cancer patients, it is particularly important for all health care practitioners and patients to understand and recognize the risk of treatment-related mortality and to monitor closely to identify and treat serious adverse effects.

Editorial: Bevacizumab Treatment for Solid Tumors

In an accompanying editorial, Daniel F. Hayes, M.D., of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., writes that careful review of response rates to bevacizumab suggest that bevacizumab works well, but only in selected patients.

"Is bevacizumab a boon or a bust? The jury is still out. Although bevacizumab has benefit, it is currently not possible to determine in whom or for how long. Thus, oncologists are forced to dilute the potential effects of bevacizumab by exposing all treated patients, and society, to enormous costs and occasional life-threatening toxic effects. These unfortunate circumstances are sad for those who pay the bills -- and sadder for patients with solid tumors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. V. Ranpura, S. Hapani, S. Wu. Treatment-Related Mortality With Bevacizumab in Cancer Patients: A Meta-analysis. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 305 (5): 487 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.51
  2. D. F. Hayes. Bevacizumab Treatment for Solid Tumors: Boon or Bust? JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 305 (5): 506 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.57

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Cancer drug used in combination with other therapies associated with increased risk of death, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201163914.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, February 1). Cancer drug used in combination with other therapies associated with increased risk of death, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201163914.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Cancer drug used in combination with other therapies associated with increased risk of death, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201163914.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins