Bevacizumab in late-onset radiation-induced myelopathy

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the efficacy of bevacizumab for treatment of late radiation-induced myelopathy.

Methods:

We studied all patients diagnosed with radiation-induced myelopathy presenting to 2 neuro-oncology centers between 2008 and 2012. All patients were treated with bevacizumab, after no clinical or radiologic improvement was achieved with conventional (in particular steroid) treatment.

Result:

This was a retrospective case study of 4 patients (2 women) with late-onset radiation-induced myelopathy who were each treated with 4 cycles of bevacizumab. The median delay from radiotherapy to myelopathy was 19 months (range 14–22 months). Initial treatment with steroids was unsuccessful in all 4 patients. Bevacizumab was introduced after a median of 4.8 months (range 4–5 months) from the onset of the neurologic symptoms. We observed stabilization of clinical outcome in 3 patients. Radiologic findings improved in all 4 patients.

Conclusion:

The use of bevacizumab resulted in radiologic improvement, but had only a modest effect on clinical outcome.

Classification of evidence:

This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with late radiation-induced myelopathy unresponsive to steroids, bevacizumab improves radiologic but not clinical outcomes.

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