Avastin (bevacizumab) is a type of chemotherapy medication that is sometimes used to reduce brain swelling when the swelling from Gamma Knife (or other stereotactic radiosurgery) radiation treatment of an AVM becomes excessive and is not successfully controlled by steroids. Avastin is classified as a monoclonal antibody, which means it is designed to specifically target and block the growth of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis.
Avastin works by targeting and binding to a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is involved in the growth and development of new blood vessels. By blocking VEGF, Avastin helps to reduce the blood supply to the target.
Avastin is typically administered intravenously (with an IV) and is sometimes given with multiple doses spread out in two week intervals. Unlike other some other chemotherapy's, taking Avastin does not result in hair loss.