Aflibercept

Indications

Aflibercept, in combination with 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, irinotecan-(FOLFIRI), is indicated for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that is resistant to or has progressed following an oxaliplatin-containing regimen.

Therapeutic Class

Cytotoxic Chemotherapy

Pharmacology

Ablibercept is a recombinant fusion protein that acts as a decoy receptor for the ligands, vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and placental growth factor (PIGF). It prevents these ligands to binding to endothelial receptors, VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2, to suppress neovascularization and decrease vascular permeability. This ultimately will slow vision loss or the progression of metastatic colorectal cancer.

Dosage

4 mg/kg as an intravenous infusion over 1 hour every 2 weeks. Do not administer as an intravenous (IV) push or bolus.

Administration

Preparation for Administration: Inspect vials visually prior to use. Aflibercept is a clear, colorless to pale yellow solution. Do not use vial if the solution is discolored or cloudy or if the solution contains particles. Do not re-enter the vial after the initial puncture. Discard any unused portion left in the vial. Withdraw the prescribed dose of Aflibercept and dilute in 0.9% sodium chloride solution, 5% dextrose solution for injection, to achieve a final concentration of 0.6–8 mg/mL.

Use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) infusion bags containing bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) or polyolefin infusion bags. Store diluted Aflibercept at 2°–8°C for up to 24 hours, or at controlled room temperature 20°–25°C for up to 8 hours. Discard any unused portion left in the infusion bag.

Administration: Administer the diluted Aflibercept solution as an intravenous infusion over 1 hour through a 0.2 micron polyethersulfone filter. Do not use filters made of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or nylon. Do not administer as an intravenous (IV) push or bolus. Do not combine Aflibercept with other drugs in the same infusion bag or intravenous line.

Interaction

No dedicated drug-drug interaction studies have been conducted for Aflibercept. No clinically important pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions were found between ziv-aflibercept and irinotecan/SN-38 or 5-FU, based on cross-study comparisons and population pharmacokinetic analyses.

Side Effects

Most common adverse reactions (all grades, ≥20% incidence and at least 2% greater incidence for the Aflibercept/FOLFIRI regimen) were leukopenia, diarrhea, neutropenia, proteinuria, AST increased, stomatitis, fatigue, thrombocytopenia, ALT increased, hypertension, weight decreased, decreased appetite, epistaxis, abdominal pain, dysphonia, serum creatinine increased, and headache

Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy: Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with Aflibercept in pregnant women. Aflibercept was embryotoxic and teratogenic in rabbits at exposure levels lower than human exposures at the recommended dose, with increased incidences of external, visceral, and skeletal fetal malformations. Aflibercept should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Lactation: It is not known whether Aflibercept is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Aflibercept, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Females and Males of Reproductive Potential: Use highly effective contraception during and up to a minimum of 3 months after the last dose

Precautions

Adverse reactions, sometimes severe and life-threatening or fatal, have been seen in clinical trials with Aflibercept, including:
  • Fistula Formation: Discontinue Aflibercept if fistula occurs.
  • Hypertension: Monitor blood pressure and treat hypertension. Temporarily suspend Aflibercept if hypertension is not controlled. Discontinue Aflibercept if hypertensive crisis develops.
  • Arterial Thromboembolic Events (ATE) (e.g., transient ischemic attacks, cerebrovascular accident, angina pectoris): Discontinue Aflibercept if ATE develops.
  • Proteinuria: Monitor urine protein. Suspend Aflibercept when proteinuria ≥ 2 grams per 24 hours. Discontinue Aflibercept if nephrotic syndrome or thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) develops.
  • Neutropenia and Neutropenic Complications: Delay administration of Aflibercept/FOLFIRI until neutrophil count is ≥ 1.5 × 109/L.
  • Diarrhea and Dehydration: Incidence of severe diarrhea and dehydration is increased. Monitor elderly patients more closely.
  • Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS): Discontinue Aflibercept.

Overdose Effects

There have been no cases of overdose reported with Aflibercept. There is no information on the safety of Aflibercept given at doses exceeding 7 mg per kg every 2 weeks or 9 mg per kg every 3 weeks.

Use in Special Population

Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. In a dose-escalation, safety, and tolerability study, 21 patients ages 2 to 21 years (median age 12.9) with solid tumors received Aflibercept at doses ranging from 2 to 3 mg/kg, IV, every two weeks. The pharmacokinetics of free ziv-aflibercept were evaluated in 8 of these patients (ages 5 to 17 years). The maximum tolerated dose in the study was 2.5 mg/kg, below the dose known to be safe and effective in adults with mCRC.

Geriatric Use: Of the 611 patients with mCRC, patients treated with Aflibercept/FOLFIRI, 205 (34%) were 65 years or older, and 33 (5%) were 75 years or older. Elderly patients (≥65 years of age) experienced higher incidences (≥5%) of diarrhea, dizziness, asthenia, weight decrease, and dehydration when compared to younger patients. Monitor elderly patients more closely for diarrhea and dehydration

The effect of Aflibercept on overall survival was similar in patients <65 years old and ≥65 years old who received Aflibercept/FOLFIRI. No dose adjustment of Aflibercept is recommended for patients greater than or equal to 65 years of age.

Hepatic Impairment: No dedicated clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of ziv-aflibercept. Based on a population PK analysis with data from 1507 patients, ziv-aflibercept exposure in patients with mild and moderate hepatic impairment were similar to those in patients with normal hepatic function. There are no data available for patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Renal Impairment: No dedicated clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of ziv-aflibercept. Based on a population PK analysis with data from 1507 patients, ziv-aflibercept exposure in patients with mild, moderate, and severe renal impairment were similar to those in patients with normal renal function [see Clinical Pharmacology.

Females and Males of Reproductive Potential: Male and female reproductive function and fertility may be compromised during treatment with Aflibercept, as suggested by findings in monkeys [see Nonclinical Toxicology. These animal findings were reversible within 18 weeks after cessation of treatment. Females and males of reproductive potential should use highly effective contraception during and up to a minimum of 3 months after the last dose of treatment.

Storage Conditions

Store Aflibercept vials in a refrigerator at 2 to 8° C . Keep the vials in the original outer carton to protect from light.