Lung Cancer: Avastin Safety Profile

First-line non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
Avastin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is indicated for the first‑line treatment of patients with unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic non–squamous non–small cell lung 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

As shown in Study E4599, Avastin plus PC has a well-documented safety profile [1]

Study E4599: Avastin plus paclitaxel/carboplatin (PC) [1]

Grade 3-5 non-hematologic and Grade 4-5 hematologic adverse reactions occurring at a higher incidence (≥ 2%)

Adverse Reactions

% of Patients

Avastin + PC (n=427)*

PC alone (n=441)*

Neutropenia

27

17

Fatigue

16

13

Hypertension

8

0.7

Infection without neutropenia

7

3

Venous thromboembolism

5

3

Febrile neutropenia

5

2

Pneumonitis/pulmonary infiltrates

5

3

Infection with grade 3 or 4 neutropenia

4

2

Hyponatremia

4

1

Headache

3

1

Proteinuria

3

0

*The safety analysis includes all patients known to have received study treatment. [6]

Indications

First-line non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
Avastin, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel, is indicated for the first‑line treatment of patients with unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic non–squamous non–small cell lung 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 NSCLC, grade 3–5 (nonhematologic) and grade 4–5 (hematologic) adverse events in Study E4599 occurring at a ≥2% higher incidence in Avastin-treated patients vs controls were neutropenia (27% vs 17%), fatigue (16% vs 13%), hypertension (8% vs 0.7%), infection without neutropenia (7% vs 3%), venous thromboembolism (5% vs 3%), febrile neutropenia (5% vs 2%), pneumonitis/pulmonary infiltrates (5% vs 3%), infection with grade 3 or 4 neutropenia (4% vs 2%), hyponatremia (4% vs 1%), headache (3% vs 1%), and proteinuria (3% vs 0%)

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.