Targeted therapy for cervical cancer

Bevacizumab (Avastin®) is the main targeted drug used for cervical cancer. The treatment is usually given in combination with chemotherapy drugs.

What is targeted therapy for cervical cancer?

Targeted therapy uses drugs to find and attack cancer cells. There are many different types of targeted therapy. Each type targets something in or around the cancer cell that is helping it grow and survive.

Bevacizumab (Avastin®) is a targeted therapy treatment sometimes used to treat cervical cancer. It may be used if cervical cancer:

It cannot cure the cancer, but it may help to control it for a time.

Bevacizumab works by stopping the cancer from making blood vessels. This means that the cancer does not get the oxygen and nutrients it needs and may shrink or stop growing. The treatment is usually given in combination with chemotherapy drugs.

Bevacizumab is given into a vein as an infusion.

Side effects of targeted therapy for cervical cancer

Side effects of bevacizumab are usually mild to moderate. They can include:

An uncommon but more serious side effect is an area of tissue breaking down in the vagina, bladder or bowel. This can cause a hole, which makes a new opening or fistula between two parts of the body, such as the vagina and bladder. If you have had radiotherapy to the pelvis, there is a higher risk of this happening with bevacizumab.

Your doctor or nurse can tell you more about possible side effects and how they can be managed.

About our information

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    This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Professor Nick Reed, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.

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