PloS one 2017 11 3012(11) e0188943 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0188943
Bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody, has recently emerged as a new option for severe forms of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Its utilization in this orphan disease has rapidly spread despite the lack of randomized trials and international guidelines. The objective of this study is to report the main clinical data (baseline characteristics, dose schedule, efficacy, adverse events and deaths) of HHT patients treated by intravenous bevacizumab in France.
Retrospective observational study of HHT patients treated with bevacizumab for a severe form of the disease in the 14 centers of the French HHT network.
Forty-six patients (median age: 68 years) were treated between March 2009 and May 2015. Ten patients were treated for high output cardiac failure, 20 patients for severe hemorrhages and 16 for both indications. The standard protocol (6 infusions of 5mg/kg every 2 weeks) was initially used in 89% of the cases but diverse strategies were subsequently applied. A clinical improvement was noted by the referent physician for 74% of the patients with a median effect’s duration of 6 months. Wound healing complications led to 2 amputations. Arthralgia/arthritis and arterial hypertension occurred in 5 patients each. One third of the patients were dead at the time of the final update, coherently with age and the poor prognosis of these highly symptomatic patients.
Intravenous bevacizumab seems to provide a clinical benefice in severe HHT patients. Precautions concerning wound healing and vascular pathologies must be respected. Prospective double blinded versus placebo trials are needed.