Treating patients with the recombinant monoclonal antibody bevacizumab carries a significant risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), a meta-analysis has shown. Researchers included data on 7,956 patients with a variety of advanced solid tumours from 15 randomised controlled trials in their analysis. Among patients receiving the angiogenesis inhibitor, the incidence of all-grade and high-grade VTE was 11.9 and 6.3 per cent, respectively. Patients’ overall risk of VTE was 33 per cent higher than for controls. The researchers found that VTE risk was similarly increased for low-dose bevacizumab (2.5 mg/kg per week; RR 1.31, p 0.007) and high-dose treatment (5 mg/kg per week; RR 1.31, p =.04).

Nalluri SR, Chu D, Keresztes R et al. JAMA 2008;300(19):2277-85

Originally published in the November 2008 edition of MIMS Oncology & Palliative Care.