Onco Targets and Therapy 2017 April [Link]

Levin PA, Dowell JE


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare, but aggressive cancer. Surgery and radiation offer limited benefit, and systemic chemotherapy remains the primary treatment modality for the majority of patients. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor have been recognized as important players in the biology of this disease. Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds VEGF and blocks its interaction with the VEGF receptor. Recent studies have shown benefit with the addition of bevacizumab to the combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed in MPM. This combination is now included in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines (with a category 2A recommendation) as a possible first-line treatment for unresectable MPM in appropriately selected patients. This review discusses the rationale behind the use of bevacizumab in MPM, as well as summarizes the pharmacology, efficacy, safety, and toxicity of bevacizumab across multiple trials. The use of small-molecule inhibitors of angiogenesis in the treatment of MPM is also discussed.