Current knowledge and open issues regarding Bevacizumab in gynaecological neoplasms

Filippo Bellati, Chiara Napoletano, Maria Luisa Gasparri, Ilary Ruscito, Claudia Marchetti, Sandro Pignata, Federica Tomao, Pierluigi Benedetti Panici, Marianna Nuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last fifty years the combining of different drugs has progressively improved response and survival rates in gynaecological malignancies. Results are, however, far from being satisfactory. Treatments used in cases of advanced or recurrent disease offer limited results in terms of long-term responses and the urgent need for new drugs has prompted researchers to investigate and propose new therapeutic modalities. One of the most important avenues that are being explored is represented by monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) directed against Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF).Several antibodies against this target are now available and Bevacizumab appears to be one of the most promising agents. VEGF has been confirmed as an important therapeutic target in several clinical trials and in multiple disease settings, including gynaecological cancers, for its biological and clinical significance in tumour angiogenesis. The binding and blocking of VEGF growth factor is the basis of tumour growth inhibition, since angiogenesis is essential in the process of tumour growth and progression. Several clinical trials have utilized this agent successfully, either alone or in combination with other drugs. Despite initial concerns, adverse reactions have not been significant with side effects being more tolerable than those associated to conventional chemotherapy. Furthermore, the limited toxicity profile of this, as well as other target therapies, allows it to be combined with cytotoxic drugs without the requirement for a significant dose reduction of the latter. This review outlines the rationale for studying this anti-angiogenetic compound, summarizing the existing and emerging clinical evidence related to the use of Bevacizumab in the treatment of gynaecological malignancies, focusing on its potential benefits and adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Angiogenesis
  • Bevacizumab
  • Cervical cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Gynaecological cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Target therapy
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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