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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2013 Jul;87(1):41-54. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2012.11.006. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Bevacizumab in older patients with advanced colorectal or breast cancer.

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Department of Medical Oncology, University of Udine, Italy.


The incidence of colorectal and breast cancer is growing among the 550 million living people aged 65 or older. Bevacizumab was the first anti-angiogenic agent approved for the treatment of the advanced phase of these cancers. Although older chronological age still hampers the use of modern treatments, there is a widespread awareness that chronological and physiological (i.e. functional) ages may largely differ, and that seniority itself should not be a stringent limit for the introduction of anti-angiogenics. However, the use of bevacizumab in the general older population is questionable. There is limited evidence of a favorable risk-to-benefit ratio, with efficacy data deriving from clinical trials that selected only elderly patients in rather good health. While summarizing the recent advances, this review highlights specific clinical features characterizing those older patients who may benefit the most from receiving bevacizumab.

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