Immunological effects of bevacizumab-based treatment in metastatic colorectal cancer

M. Manzoni, B. Rovati, M. Ronzoni, F. Loupakis, S. Mariucci, V. Ricci, E. Gattoni, L. Salvatore, C. Tinelli, E. Villa, M. Danova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The efficacy of bevacizumab in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) could be related not only to its well-known antiangiogenetic properties but also to a hypothetical effect on the immune system of the host. Methods: We enrolled mCRC patients treated with a bevacizumab-based first-line therapy. Lymphocyte and dendritic cell subsets were evaluated at baseline, 3rd and 6th cycle. The clinical efficacy was estimated as response rate and progression-free survival. Forty healthy subjects were used as reference. Results: Fifty-one patients were enrolled. In comparison with healthy subjects, they showed a decrease of T and B cell compartments. Bevacizumab ameliorated the impairment of lymphocyte subsets, especially for T cells. Responders showed a trend toward an increase of CD3 (p = 0.07) and CD4 (p = 0.05). Among patients with a progression-free survival >1 year, only CD19 (p = 0.033) and CD20 (p = 0.013) showed a significant increase. No baseline impairment and no significant modification of dendritic cells were found. Conclusion: Bevacizumab-based therapy is able to increase B and T cell compartments. The expansion of T lymphocytes could imply an amelioration of dendritic cell-presenting capacity. These effects correlate with a more favourable clinical outcome and could be taken into account in clinical protocols aimed at combining antiangiogenetic- therapy with immunotherapy in mCRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Advanced colorectal cancer
  • Angiogenesis
  • Dendritic cells
  • Immunophenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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