Bevacizumab treatment in the elderly patient with metastatic colorectal cancer

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Interventions in Aging
Publication statusPublished - Jan 5 2015


  • Antivascular treatment
  • Bevacizumab
  • Elderly
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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