Does bevacizumab increase joint pain in patients with cancer? Results of the prospective observational BEVARTHRALGIA study

Purpose:

The occurrence of arthralgia and myalgia during treatment with bevacizumab (Bev) has been described but not spontaneously reported. We aimed to evaluate the frequency of arthralgia in patients treated with Bev and identify the risk factors.

Methods:

In this observational prospective study, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to patients at the initiation of Bev and at 3 and 6 months of treatment. Bev (5-15 mg/kg) was administered every 2 or 3 weeks, with or without chemotherapy.

Results:

A total of 71 patients (42 with colorectal cancer, 22 with ovarian cancer, and 7 with lung cancer) were enrolled from January to November 2018. All patients completed the questionnaire at initiation, while only 56 (78.9%) and 36 (50.7%) patients completed the questionnaire at 3 and 6 months, respectively. The frequency of joint pain was 29.6% before Bev treatment and increased to 41.8% and 50% at 3 and 6 months, respectively, without reaching significance. The evolution of pain was significant according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grades (P = 0.032). No significant increase in the impact of pain on instrumental or elementary activities was observed over time. The frequency of arthralgia significantly increased at 3 months in patients with ovarian cancer versus those with colorectal cancer (odds ratio: 19.50; 95% confidence interval 4.53-83.98; P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

Bev‑including regimens tend to be associated with a significant increase in the frequency of arthralgia in women treated for ovarian cancer. Physicians should be aware of this side effect.

Clinical trial number:

NCT03455907, date of registration: March 7, 2018.

Keywords:

Arthralgia; Colorectal cancer; Lung cancer; Ovarian cancer; Targeted therapy.

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