Researchers Confirm Safety and Effectiveness of Bevacizumab/Chemo Combination

Mesothelioma researchers are always looking for ways to improve the effect of chemotherapy, and one possibility being researched is the use of an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor medication called bevacizumab. Though it has been theorized that bevacizumab could improve overall survival, colorectal cancer patients on whom it was used had shown troubling bleeding after surgery. Researchers from the University Hospital of Zurich studied whether bevacizumab presented the same post-surgery bleeding issue for mesothelioma patients, and report that it did not.  

Pemetrexed Plus Bevacizumab Provides Better Prognosis for Mesothelioma Patients

Chemotherapy — and specifically a platinum-based chemotherapy treatment using pemetrexed — is the gold standard treatment for advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma. But even with this treatment, the disease has a grim prognosis and researchers are constantly looking for ways to improve results. Bevacizumab is one of those methods, but its use raised concerns after colorectal cancer patients experienced increased risk of high-grade bleeding after surgery. 

To determine whether the same was true of mesothelioma patients, researchers from the University Hospital of Zurich analyzed data from 227 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients who were slated for surgery following pemetrexed chemotherapy. They narrowed their data pool to 88 patients from that larger group, identifying 66 who were simply given chemotherapy and 22 who had both the chemotherapy treatment and bevacizumab. All had resection surgery to remove mesothelioma tumors after their chemotherapy treatment.

Mesothelioma Patients Had Better Outcomes with Combination Treatment

In their analysis of the results, researchers determined that the mesothelioma patients who received the additional bevacizumab therapy showed better response, with no intraoperative complications related to bleeding. Though overall survival was no different between the two groups, the researchers concluded that bevacizumab did provide patients with improved outcomes, and can be safely considered for treatment of patients going forward.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you need every tool available to improve your overall survival and outcomes. To speak with one of the helpful Patient Advocates at, call us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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