24 HR Support Line Info: 1-877-428-2784 Health Care Professionals

Avastin.com

X

The information contained in this section of the site is intended for U.S. healthcare professionals only. Click "OK" if you are a healthcare professional.

Ok Cancel

Avastin.com

X

The link you have selected will take you away from this site to one that is not owned or controlled by Genentech, Inc. Genentech, Inc. makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information contained on sites we do not own or control. Genentech does not recommend and does not endorse the content on any third-party websites. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites.

Ok Cancel

Colorectal Cancer 101

What is mCRC?

Colorectal cancer is a disease that develops when abnormal cells in the colon or rectum divide without control. When this happens, they form a growth or a primary tumor.

As the primary tumor grows, here's what can happen:

  • The tumor spreads to nearby tissue outside the colon or rectum
  • Cancer cells eventually break away and travel through the bloodstream or lymph system
  • Cancer cells form new tumors in other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs

This spreading process is called metastasis. Your health care team may refer to it as stage IV colorectal cancer, advanced colorectal cancer, or mCRC.

Even though the cancer has spread to a new part of the body, the new tumors are made up of cells from the original tumor in the colon or rectum. So it is still considered colorectal cancer.

Where CRC grows

Colorectal cancers develop in the large intestine. The first 6 feet of the large intestine include the large bowel or colon. The final 6 inches make up the rectum and the anal canal. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).

Cancer can develop in any of the 4 sections of the colon or rectum:

  • Ascending colon
  • Transverse colon
  • Descending colon
  • Sigmoid or S-shaped colon
Brochure for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC)

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Guide

This guide provides information about metastatic colorectal cancer, practical tips to help you cope, and valuable support resources for you and your family.

Download the guide now

Avastin is approved for:

  • Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for first- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy. It is also approved to treat mCRC for second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin
    • Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.
  • Advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in people who have not received chemotherapy for their advanced disease
  • Metastatic kidney cancer (mRCC) when used with interferon alfa
  • Glioblastoma (GBM) when taken alone in adult patients whose cancer has progressed after prior treatment. The effectiveness of Avastin in GBM is based on tumor response. Currently, no data have shown whether or not Avastin improves disease-related symptoms or survival in people previously treated for GBM

Avastin is approved for:

  • Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) for first- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy. It is also approved to treat mCRC for second-line treatment when used with fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin
    • Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.
  • Advanced nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in people who have not received chemotherapy for their advanced disease
  • Metastatic kidney cancer (mRCC) when used with interferon alfa

Avastin is approved for:

  • Glioblastoma (GBM) when taken alone in adult patients whose cancer has progressed after prior treatment. The effectiveness of Avastin in GBM is based on tumor response. Currently, no data have shown whether or not Avastin improves disease-related symptoms or survival in people previously treated for GBM

Possible Serious Side Effects

Everyone reacts differently to Avastin therapy. So it’s important to know what the side effects are. Although some people may have a life-threatening side effect, most do not.

Your doctor will stop treatment if any serious side effects occur. Be sure to contact your health care team if you have symptoms related to these side effects.

The most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or fever
  • Wounds that don’t heal. A cut made during surgery can be slow to heal or may not fully heal. Avastin should not be used for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed
  • Serious bleeding. This includes vomiting or coughing up blood; bleeding in the stomach, brain, or spinal cord; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, do not take Avastin

Other possible serious side effects:

  • Abnormal passage in the body. This forms from one part of the body to another and can sometimes be fatal
  • Stroke or heart problems. These include blood clots, mini-stroke, heart attack, and chest pain. These can sometimes be fatal
  • Severe high blood pressure. Blood pressure that severely spikes or shows signs of affecting the brain. Blood pressure should be monitored every 2 to 3 weeks while on Avastin and after stopping treatment
  • Nervous system and vision problems. Symptoms include high blood pressure, headache, seizure, sluggishness, confusion, and blindness
  • Kidney problems. These may be caused by too much protein in the urine and can sometimes be fatal
  • Infusion reactions. These may include difficulty breathing, chest pain, and excessive sweating. Your doctor or nurse will monitor you for signs of infusion reactions
  • Fertility issues for women. Avastin could cause a woman’s ovaries to stop working and may impair her ability to have children

Additional Safety Information

The most common side effects of Avastin are:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammation of the nose
  • Too much protein in the urine
  • Taste change
  • Dry skin
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Tear production disorder
  • Back pain
  • Inflammation of the skin

Avastin is not right for everyone. Talk to your doctor if you:

  • Are pregnant, may be pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Avastin may harm the fetus or a child that is nursing. If you stop Avastin, you should keep using birth control for at least 6 months after your last dose before trying to become pregnant
  • Are undergoing surgery. Don’t take Avastin for at least 28 days before or after surgery and until surgical wounds are fully healed

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, talk to your doctor.

You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.

Please see full Product Information, including Serious Side Effects, for additional important safety information.