An article appearing today the Urology Times E-News rang a warning bell about the use of the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab (Avastin). The article warned that men with advanced prostate cancer may be at an increased risk of treatment-related death when bevacizumab is used in combination with other therapies.

Senior author Shenhong Wu, MD, PhD, and colleagues from Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. reviewed 16 published randomized controlled trials on the clinical use of bevacizumab and then performed a meta-analysis of adverse effects and mortality rates of 10,217 patients with a variety of advanced solid tumors, including advanced prostate cancer. The meta-analysis included two phase III trials of renal cell carcinoma and one phase III prostate cancer study.

Bevacizumab is FDA-approved for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma in combination with interferon alfa, as well as colorectal and lung cancer. However, it is not approved for the treatment of prostate cancer.

“We discovered the use of bevacizumab in combination with other chemotherapy or biological therapy increased the risk of treatment-related mortality by 46%,” Dr. Wu said. “Because of this significant risk in a large population of cancer patients, it is important for physicians and patien