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Bevacizumab Related Hypertension and Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome in Gynecologic Malignancies: A case Control Study

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DOI: 10.4236/jct.2011.22028    4,570 Downloads   7,782 Views   Citations


Background: Bevacizumab is increasingly being used in the treatment of gynecologic malignancies, but has significant side-effects including hypertension and reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy (RPLS), which must be recognized by the gynecologic oncologist. Methods: A 26-month institutional retrospective review of bevacizumab in the treatment of gynecologic malignancies. Patients were grouped according to whether they had bevacizumab-related hypertension (defined as at least a grade one hypertensive toxicity) or not. There were no differences in patient demographics between the groups. Risk factors for developing bevacizumab-related hypertension were assessed using t-tests, Wilcoxon rank sum test and Fisher’s exact test. Results: Our group has treated 45 patients with bevacizumab. Fifteen (33%) patients had a pre-existing diagnosis of hypertension, 12 (80%) of whom had at least one elevated blood pressure during treatment. The 30 (67%) patients who did not have a pre-existing diagnosis of hypertension still had a high incidence of bevacizumab-related elevated blood pressure (14, 47%). The majority of patients (26, 58%) had at least one therapy cycle complicated by hypertension. Patients who experienced bevacizumab-related hypertension were significantly more likely than not to have a history of hypertension (odds ratio of 4.6, 95% CI 1.1-19.6). There was a 4.4% incidence of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy. Patients with age equal to or greater than 75 years, stage IV disease, and creatinine elevations greater than or equal to 1.4 mg/dL were significantly more likely to develop bevacizumab-related hypertension. Other factors such as numbers of prior chemotherapies, cycles of bevacizumab, BMI, cancer site, and histology were not significantly associated with bevacizumab-related hypertension. Conclusions: Hypertension is a problem for patients on bevacizumab whether or not they have a pre-existing diagnosis. However, those with a history of hypertension were significantly more likely to have bevacizumab-related hypertension.

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S. Cross, E. Ratner, D. Silasi, A. Santin, M. Azodi, T. Rutherford and P. Schwartz, "Bevacizumab Related Hypertension and Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome in Gynecologic Malignancies: A case Control Study," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011, pp. 217-223. doi: 10.4236/jct.2011.22028.


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