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Bevacizumab treatment in the elderly patient with metastatic colorectal cancer

Authors Maria Di Bartolomeo M, Maggi C, Ricchini F, Pietrantonio F, Iacovelli R, de Braud F, Inno A

Received 4 August 2014

Accepted for publication 12 September 2014

Published 5 January 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 127—133

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S54675

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Maria Di Bartolomeo,1 Claudia Maggi,1 Francesca Ricchini,1 Filippo Pietrantonio,1 Roberto Iacovelli,1 Filippo de Braud,1 Alessandro Inno2

1Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, 2Department of Medical Oncology, Sacro Cuore-Don Calabria Hospital, Negrar, Italy

Abstract: Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), like many cancers, is primarily a disease of elderly people. Despite this prevalence, such patients are often excluded from randomized trials or represent a minority of enrolled patients. Moreover, the criteria for establishing benefit or side effects of treatment strategies in this population are uncertain and not well recognized. Bevacizumab improves the outcome of mCRC when used in combination with standard first-line and second-line chemotherapy and beyond the first disease progression when given with a chemotherapy backbone different from that used in the precedent line. The particular toxicity profile of this antiangiogenesis agent (in particular hypertension, thromboembolic events, hemorrhage, and renal failure) may discourage its use in elderly patients with comorbidities. Data from subgroup analyses of randomized trials and the results of recent cohort studies suggest a significant benefit from the addition of bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy for elderly patients comparable with that observed in younger patients, except for the increased risk for thromboembolic events. Age alone should not be a barrier to use of bevacizumab, and further research with a more complete geriatric assessment should investigate the role of bevacizumab in elderly patients with mCRC to avoid undertreatment of this patient population due to a ­historical conservative approach.

Keywords: bevacizumab, elderly, metastatic colorectal cancer, antivascular treatment, review

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