Characteristics of oral mucosal events related to bevacizumab treatment

Igor T. Gavrilovic, Yevgeniy Balagula, Alyx C. Rosen, Vijay Ramaswamy, Maura N. Dickler, Ira J. Dunkel, Mario E. Lacouture

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background. Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein, has been reported to induce mucosal toxicities. However, the clinical characteristics of these particular toxicities have not been well characterized. We aimed at providing a detailed clinical description of signs and symptoms limited to the tongue mucosa in patients treated with bevacizumab. Methods. A retrospective review of medical records and clinical photographs was performed with specific attention to clinical presentation, evolution, associated symptoms, concomitant medications, and treatment methods. Results. In total, four patients presented to the dermatology service with clinical findings characterized by multifocal, erythematous circinate and serpiginous erosions on the dorsal tongue surrounded by white hyperkeratotic rims that were temporally related to bevacizumab therapy. Associated increased sensitivity to spicy foods was frequently observed. Conclusion. These characteristic clinical findings are consistent with geographic tongue. However, large prospective evaluations are necessary to confirm this potential relationship. If bevacizumab is indeed associated with geographic tongue, increased awareness may result in improved reporting and characterization of this particular adverse event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-278
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bevacizumab mucosal toxicity adverse event geographic tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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