Functional and Morphological Effects of Systemic Bevacizumab on Cancer Patients’ Eyes

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To evaluate the morphological and functional short-term effects of systemic bevacizumab on healthy eyes of cancer patients morphologically and functionally.


The patients who underwent a chemotherapy regimen because of colon, lung, and breast cancer at the Department of Medical Oncology of the Gazi University School of Medicine between years 2010 and 2012 were included. All patients were administrated intravenous bevacizumab in three different dosages (5, 7.5, and 15 mg/kg per day) at 2- or 3-week intervals and a total of 6 to 18 courses in addition to regimens based on 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan. After baseline ophthalmologic examination, patients were examined after the first course of chemotherapy and at the end of the protocol. Ophthalmologic evaluations included best-corrected visual acuity, color vision assessment, and ocular examinations with optical coherence tomography.


Thirty-four eyes of 17 patients were enrolled. The mean (±SD) age of the patients was 53.64 (±11.09) years and median follow-up time was 9 months (range, 4 to 18 months). Seventy-six percent of the patients were diagnosed as having colon cancer and no significant change was identified in functional assessments such as best-corrected visual acuity or color vision or in morphological examinations with optical coherence tomography (central foveal thickness and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness parameters). Patients were divided into three groups based on the dosage of systemic bevacizumab infusions, and correlation between time-dependent changes in central foveal thickness, retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, and bevacizumab dosage was investigated and no significant correlation was detected.


Repeated doses of systemic bevacizumab did not cause a deleterious effect on healthy eyes of cancer patients clinically, but further studies including histologic and biochemical analysis need to be conducted to reveal possible adverse effects.

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