Bevacizumab for glioblastoma
Individuals with glioblastoma are often characterized by older age, advanced neurologic manifestations at the primary stage, and unresectable tumors, and these factors are associated with poor treatment outcomes. Administration of bevacizumab (BV, Avastin®) promotes tumor regression and improves cerebral edema, and is expected to improve neurologic findings in many patients with malignant gliomas, including glioblastoma. Although the addition of BV to the conventional standard therapy (chemoradiotherapy with temozolomide) for newly diagnosed glioblastoma prolonged the progression-free survival time and the performance status of patients, it failed to extend overall survival time. However, more than 50% of glioblastoma patients show Karnofsky performance status ≤70 at initial presentation; therefore, BV should be used to improve or maintain their performance status as an initial treatment. Most of the adverse events of BV, except hypertension and proteinuria, occur as complications of glioblastoma, and explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of BV administration to patients is important. Herein, the efficacy, safety, and challenges of using BV for treating glioblastoma were reviewed.