(HealthDay News) – For patients with HIV-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma (HIV-KS), bevacizumab is tolerated and induces a response in some patients, according to a study published online March 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Thomas S. Uldrick, MD, from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues assessed the tolerability and efficacy of bevacizumab in 17 patients with HIV-KS that progressed or did not regress during highly-active antiretroviral therapy. Bevacizumab was administered intravenously to eligible patients with HIV-KS on days one and eight and every three weeks thereafter.

The researchers note that the median number of bevacizumab cycles was ten, during a median follow-up of 8.3 months. Of the 16 patients eligible for assessment, 3 had a complete response, 2 had a partial response, 9 had stable disease, and 2 had disease progression, for an overall response rate (complete and partial response) of 31%. Of the five responders, four had received previous chemotherapy for KS. Grade 3 to 4 adverse events at least possibly related to therapy included hypertension in seven patients, neutropenia in five, cellulitis in three, and headache in two.

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“Overall, this study suggests that bevacizumab has utility in KS,” the authors conclude.

One of the authors disclosed holding patents on certain anti-HIV drugs. Bevacizumab for the study was provided by Genentech.

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