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Cancer therapy and cardiovascular risk: focus on bevacizumab

Authors Economopoulou P, Kotsakis A, Kapiris I, Kentepozidis N

Received 12 November 2014

Accepted for publication 2 April 2015

Published 3 June 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 133—143


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Kenan Onel

Panagiota Economopoulou,1 Athanasios Kotsakis,2 Ioannis Kapiris,3 Nikolaos Kentepozidis3

1Medical Oncology Unit, 2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Attikon University Hospital, Haidari, Athens, 2Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, 3251 Airforce General Hospital, Department of Medical Oncology, Athens, Greece

Abstract: Recognition and management of treatment-related cardiovascular toxicity, defined as either an acute cardiac event or a chronic condition, has been tightly integrated into routine cancer care and has become an important component in treatment selection. Several chemotherapeutic agents, such as anthracyclines, are traditionally characterized as cardiotoxic, but cardiovascular adverse events are also associated with commonly used molecular targeted therapies. In the past decade, bevacizumab, a monoclonal humanized antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor, has been introduced in the treatment of a variety of metastatic malignancies. Despite its efficacy, bevacizumab has been associated with significant risk of cardiovascular complications, such as hypertension, cardiac ischemia, and congestive heart failure. This review will focus on the cardiovascular toxicity of bevacizumab, providing the latest evidence on the incidence, clinical spectrum, risk factors, and responsible mechanisms.

Keywords: bevacizumab, cardiovascular toxicity, hypertension

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