Avastin® (bevacizumab) is approved to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, or mCRC, for first- or second-line treatment in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil–based chemotherapy. Avastin is also approved as a 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.

Keep in mind that Avastin is not approved for use after the primary treatment of colon cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

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 there are any signs of these side effects.
Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your 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; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor

In clinical studies, Avastin was shown to extend the life of people with metastatic colorectal cancer when taken with IV 5-FU-based chemotherapy

Studies have also shown that there are some serious side effects that may occur with Avastin

Possible treatment journey with chemotherapy & Avastin infographic
  • In clinical studies, Avastin was shown to extend the life of people with metastatic colorectal cancer when taken with IV 5-FU-based chemotherapy
  • Studies have also shown that there are some serious side effects that may occur with Avastin

Benefits and risks for patients who started on Avastin for initial treatment

In studies, when patients took Avastin and IV 5-FU-based chemotherapy* for first- or second-line treatment instead of chemotherapy alone:

Metastatic colorectal cancer benefits

Individual results may vary.

*IV 5-FU-based chemotherapy for first- and second-line treatment; Fluoropyrimidine-irinotecan- or fluropyrimidine-oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy after cancer progresses following a first-line treatment that includes Avastin.

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 there are any signs of these side effects.
Most serious side effects (not common, but sometimes fatal):

  • GI perforation. A hole that develops in your stomach or intestine. Symptoms include pain in your 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; nosebleeds; and vaginal bleeding. If you recently coughed up blood or had serious bleeding, be sure to tell your doctor

What are the side effects of Avastin in mCRC?

See the tables below for select side effects that increased by 2% or more in patients who added Avastin to IV 5-FU-based chemotherapy.

Side effects of Avastin mCRC

If my doctor changes my chemotherapy, how may Avastin continue to help?

If your chemotherapy treatment changes, continuing Avastin with a different chemotherapy may help extend the time you live without your tumor growing or spreading.

In a clinical study,* patients who continued on Avastin with this chemotherapy instead of chemotherapy alone:

  • Extended the time they live without their tumors growing or spreading
  • Lived longer
Individual results may vary.
*Patients in this study took fluoropyrimidine-based (combined with irinotecan or oxaliplatin) chemotherapy after their cancer progressed on an initial treatment that included Avastin.
Side effects of Avastin mCRC
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