Colorectal Cancer: Avastin Safety Profile

Metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC)
Avastin, in combination with intravenous 5‑fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, is indicated for the first‑ or second‑line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Avastin, in combination with fluoropyrimidine-irinotecan- or fluoropyrimidine-oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, is indicated for the second-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have progressed on a first-line Avastin-containing regimen.

Limitation of Use: Avastin is not indicated for adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.

Boxed WARNINGS

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) perforation
    • Discontinue for gastrointestinal perforation
  • Surgery and wound healing complications
    • Withhold Avastin for at least 28 days prior to elective surgery. Do not administer Avastin for at least 28 days after surgery and until the wound is fully healed
    • Discontinue in patients with wound healing complications requiring medical intervention
  • Hemorrhage
    • Severe or fatal hemorrhage have occurred
    • Do not administer Avastin to patients with serious hemorrhage or recent history of hemoptysis
    • Discontinue for Grade 3-4 hemorrhage

Consistent safety profile demonstrated in 3 large Phase III trials

Safety evaluated in 2,919 patients receiving Avastin in clinical trials across indications[1]

First-line Study 2107: Avastin plus 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/leucovorin (LV)/irinotecan (IFL) [1]

Grade 3–4 adverse events in MCRC patients (≥2% higher incidence in the Avastin arm) [1]

National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (NCI-CTC) grade 3–4 events

% of Patients

Avastin + IFL (n=392)

Placebo + IFL (n=396)

Asthenia

10

7

Abdominal pain

8

5

Pain

8

5

Hypertension

12

2

Deep vein thrombosis

9

5

Intra-abdominal thrombosis

3

1

Syncope

3

1

Diarrhea

34

25

Constipation

4

2

Leukopenia

37

31

Neutropenia

21

14

Central laboratories were collected on days 1 and 21 of each cycle. Neutrophil counts were available in 303 patients receiving placebo plus IFL and 276 patients receiving Avastin plus IFL.  [1]

Boxed WARNINGS

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) perforation
    • Discontinue for gastrointestinal perforation
  • Surgery and wound healing complications
    • Withhold Avastin for at least 28 days prior to elective surgery. Do not administer Avastin for at least 28 days after surgery and until the wound is fully healed
    • Discontinue in patients with wound healing complications requiring medical intervention
  • Hemorrhage
    • Severe or fatal hemorrhage have occurred
    • Do not administer Avastin to patients with serious hemorrhage or recent history of hemoptysis
    • Discontinue for Grade 3-4 hemorrhage

Second-line Avastin-naive Study E3200: Avastin plus 5-FU/LV/oxaliplatin (FOLFOX4) [1]

Grade 3-5 adverse events (≥2% high incidence in the Avastin arm) [1]

NCI-CTC grade 3–5 (nonhematologic) and grade 4–5 (hematologic) events

% of Patients

Avastin + FOLFOX4 (n=287)

FOLFOXalone (n=285)

Fatigue 19% 13%

Diarrhea

18%

13%

Sensory neuropathy 17% 9%

Nausea

12%

5%

Vomiting

11%

4%

Dehydration

10%

5%

Hypertension

9%

2%

Abdominal pain

8%

5%

Hemorrhage

5%

1%

Neurological Disorder 5% 3%

Ileus

4%

1%

Headache

3%

0%

These data are likely to underestimate the true adverse event rates due to the report mechanisms used in this study. [1]

The TML study*: Avastin plus fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy [5]§

No new safety signals were observed in the TML study (ML18147) when Avastin was administered in second-line MCRC patients who progressed on an Avastin containing regimen in first-line MCRC. The safety data was consistent with the known safety profile established in first- and second-line MCRC.[5]

*TML=Treatment through Multiple Lines (first and second line).
§Chemotherapy combinations included either an irinotecan- or oxaliplatin-containing regimen.
[1] 

Indications

Metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC)
Avastin, in combination with intravenous 5‑fluorouracil-based chemotherapy, is indicated for the first‑ or second‑line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Avastin, in combination with fluoropyrimidine-irinotecan- or fluoropyrimidine-oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy, is indicated for the second-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have progressed on a first-line Avastin-containing regimen.

Limitation of Use: Avastin is not indicated for adjuvant treatment of colon cancer.

Boxed WARNINGS

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) perforation
    • Serious and sometimes fatal GI perforation occurs at a higher incidence in Avastin-treated patients compared to patients treated with chemotherapy
    • The incidence of GI perforation ranged from 0.3% to 3% across clinical studies
    • Discontinue Avastin in patients with GI perforation
  • Surgery and wound healing complications
    • The incidence of wound healing and surgical complications, including serious and fatal complications, is increased in Avastin-treated patients
    • Withhold Avastin for at least 28 days prior to elective surgery. Do not administer Avastin for at least 28 days after surgery and until the wound is fully healed
    • Discontinue in patients with wound healing complications requiring medical intervention
  • Hemorrhage
    • Severe or fatal hemorrhage, including hemoptysis, GI bleeding, hematemesis, central nervous system hemorrhage, epistaxis, and vaginal bleeding, occurred up to 5-fold more frequently in patients receiving Avastin. In clinical studies, the incidence of grade ≥3 hemorrhagic events among patients receiving Avastin ranged from 0.4% to 7%
    • Do not administer Avastin to patients with serious hemorrhage or a recent history of hemoptysis (≥1/2 tsp of red blood)
    • Discontinue Avastin in patients who develop grade 3-4 hemorrhage

Additional serious adverse events

  • Additional serious and sometimes fatal adverse events with increased incidence in the Avastin-treated arm vs chemotherapy arm included:
    • Non-GI fistulae (<1% to 1.8%, highest in patients with cervical cancer)
    • Arterial thromboembolic events (grade ≥3, 5%, highest in patients with GBM)
    • Renal injury and proteinuria
      • Grade 3–4 proteinuria ranged from 0.7% to 7% in clinical studies
      • Nephrotic syndrome (<1%)
  • Additional serious adverse events with increased incidence in the Avastin-treated arm vs chemotherapy arm included:
    • Venous thromboembolism (grade ≥3, 11% seen in GOG-0240)
    • Hypertension (grade 3–4, 5%–18%)
    • Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) (<0.5%)
    • Congestive heart failure (CHF) (1%)
  • Infusion reactions with the first dose of Avastin occurred in <3% of patients, and severe reactions occurred in 0.2% of patients
  • Inform females of reproductive potential of the risk of ovarian failure prior to starting treatment with Avastin

Pregnancy warning

  • Based on the mechanism of action and animal studies, Avastin may cause fetal harm
  • Advise female patients that Avastin may cause fetal harm, and to inform their healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy
  • Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with Avastin and for 6 months after the last dose of Avastin
  • Advise nursing women that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with Avastin and for 6 months following their last dose of treatment
  • Avastin may impair fertility

Most common adverse events

  • Across studies, the most common adverse reactions observed in Avastin patients at a rate >10% were:

— Epistaxis
— Headache
— Hypertension
— Rhinitis

— Proteinuria
— Taste alteration
— Dry skin
— Rectal hemorrhage

— Lacrimation disorder
— Back pain
— Exfoliative dermatitis

  • Across all studies, Avastin was discontinued in 8% to 22% of patients because of adverse reactions

Indication-specific adverse events

  • In first-line MCRC, the most common grade 3–4 events in Study 2107, which occurred at a ≥2% higher incidence in the Avastin plus IFL vs IFL groups, were asthenia (10% vs 7%), abdominal pain (8% vs 5%), pain (8% vs 5%), hypertension (12% vs 2%), deep vein thrombosis (9% vs 5%), intra-abdominal thrombosis (3% vs 1%), syncope (3% vs 1%), diarrhea (34% vs 25%), constipation (4% vs 2%), leukopenia (37% vs 31%), and neutropenia (21% vs 14%)
  • In second-line MCRC, the most common grade 3–5 (nonhematologic) and 4–5 (hematologic) events in Study E3200, which occurred at a higher incidence (≥2%) in the Avastin plus FOLFOX4 vs FOLFOX4 groups, were fatigue (19% vs 13%), diarrhea (18% vs 13%), sensory neuropathy (17% vs 9%), nausea (12% vs 5%), vomiting (11% vs 4%), dehydration (10% vs 5%), hypertension (9% vs 2%), abdominal pain (8% vs 5%), hemorrhage (5% vs 1%), other neurological (5% vs 3%), ileus (4% vs 1%), and headache (3% vs 0%). These data are likely to underestimate the true adverse event rates due to the reporting mechanisms used in this study
  • When continued beyond first progression in MCRC, no new safety signals were observed in the TML study (ML18147) when Avastin was administered in second-line MCRC patients who progressed on an Avastin containing regimen in first-line MCRC. The safety data was consistent with the known safety profile established in first- and second-line MCRC5

You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS, for additional important safety information.