Intravenous literature: Grenader, T., Goldberg, A., Verstandig, A. and Shavit, L. (2010) Indwelling central venous access port insertion during bevacizumab-based therapy. Anti-Cancer Drugs. 21(7), p.704-7.
Indwelling central venous catheters and implantable port systems are widely used in the care of patients with cancer. Bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor, significantly prolongs survival when added to intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy as first-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. It has also been shown to be of value in a range of other malignant diseases. Some elements of the toxicity profile of bevacizumab, however, such as bleeding and impaired wound healing, could interfere with surgical procedures involved in the treatment of the diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible effect of bevacizumab in increasing the morbidity associated with an indwelling central venous access port in patients currently receiving the drug, or those who had received it in the preoperative run-up to surgery. An analysis of the medical records of 57 patients with a variety of cancers, who had received an indwelling central venous access port, either during the course of treatment with bevacizumab or in the 4-week period before the commencement of therapy was carried out, with particular emphasis on periprocedural complications. Eight of the patients also had diabetes mellitus. There were no instances of delay in wound healing, abnormal bleeding, or wound infection in any of the patients and no episodes of skin ulceration during bevacizumab treatment. Although this is a relatively small study, and no definitive conclusions can be drawn at this stage, our data suggest that an indwelling central venous access port insertion may be carried out shortly before or during bevacizumab treatment without increasing periprocedural morbidity.