Case Reports:

Bevacizumab for ramucirumab refractory malignant pleural effusion in non-small cell lung cancer: a case report and review of the literature

Ryobu Mori, Daichi Fujimoto _, Munehiro Ito and Keisuke Tomii

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:48521-48524. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17952

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Ryobu Mori1, Daichi Fujimoto1, Munehiro Ito1 and Keisuke Tomii1

1 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital, Hyogo, Japan

Correspondence to:

Daichi Fujimoto, email:

Keywords: bevacizumab, malignant pleural effusion, non-small cell lung cancer, ramucirumab, vascular endothelial growth factor

Received: February 14, 2017 Accepted: May 01, 2017 Published: May 17, 2017


Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) is a major problem associated with advanced non-small cell lung cancer for which an optimum treatment strategy has yet to be determined. Notably, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling has been found to influence MPE, and bevacizumab, a VEGF ligand inhibitor, can effectively control MPE. Ramucirumab, a human monoclonal antibody specific for VEGF receptor-2, has recently been approved for advanced non-small cell lung cancer. However, it remains unclear which of these agents more effectively control MPE.

We describe a case of a 68-year-old man with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in whom ramucirumab plus docetaxel-refractory MPE was responsive to bevacizumab plus docetaxel combination therapy. The patient’s MPE progressed after two cycles of ramucirumab plus docetaxel second-line chemotherapy. After switching to bevacizumab plus docetaxel, a computed tomography scan revealed a decreased MPE after two cycles of treatment.

Bevacizumab may be more effective for treating MPE. However, further investigations are still warranted to determine the optimal VEGF-targeted agent for this condition.

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