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11-08-2017 | Colorectal cancer | Article

Bevacizumab in Colorectal Cancer: Current Role in Treatment and the Potential of Biosimilars

Journal:
Targeted Oncology

Authors: Lee S. Rosen, Ira A. Jacobs, Ronald L. Burkes

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Abstract

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of tumor-related morbidity and mortality worldwide, with mortality most often attributable to metastatic disease. Bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting vascular endothelial growth factor, has a significant role in the treatment of metastatic CRC (mCRC). However, patient access to bevacizumab may be limited in some regions or circumstances, owing to factors related to insurance coverage, reimbursement, patient out-of-pocket costs, or availability. As a result, outcomes for patients with mCRC may be worsened. Additionally, counterfeit bevacizumab has infiltrated legitimate supply chains, exposing patients to risk. Oncologists may also be affected detrimentally, since resolving access issues can be time-consuming and demoralizing. The imminent expiry of patents protecting bevacizumab provides other manufacturers with the opportunity to produce highly similar versions known as biosimilars. High-quality, safe, and effective biosimilars have the potential to expand access to bevacizumab. Most of the bevacizumab biosimilars currently in development are in clinical trials in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, and future authorization for mCRC indications will, therefore, be based on extrapolation. This article reviews the current role of bevacizumab in the management of mCRC, the possible barriers associated with diminished access to bevacizumab, and the potential bevacizumab biosimilars in development. How biosimilars may impact the treatment of mCRC is also discussed.

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