Year : 2011 | Volume : 2 | Issue : 4 | Page : 273--279
Thromboprophylaxis in Cancer Patients Receiving Bevacizumab
Joo-Young Byun1, Shaker A Mousa2,
1 The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, One Discovery Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144 USA;
2 The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, One Discovery Drive, Rensselaer, NY 12144 USA; College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Background: Thrombosis is one of the leading causes of death in cancer patients. Anti-angiogenic inhibitors like bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting vascular endothelial growth factor, increase the risk of thrombosis. Thromboprophylaxis must be provided to patients receiving bevacizumab. Methods: An up-to-date, comprehensive literature search using PubMed for studies performed on bevacizumab from January 2003 to the present was performed. Key words searched included bevacizumab, avastin, thromboprophylaxis, and anticoagulation in cancer patients. Results: Thrombosis risk is increased with bevacizumab therapy. Anticoagulation therapy with bevacizumab may increase bleeding risks; however, these risks are generally low and for minor bleeding. Current guidelines approve thromboprophylaxis in a subset of cancer patients; however, they are not specific for patients receiving anti-angiogenesis therapy. Conclusion: Thromboprophylaxis should be considered for patients receiving bevacizumab, as the benefits outweigh the small risk of adverse effects such as bleeding.