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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Jan 3;99(1):81-3.

Hypothyroidism in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with sunitinib.

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  • 1Department of Solid Tumor Oncology, Taussig Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave., Desk R35, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Sunitinib is an inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor receptors, and it has antitumor activity in metastatic renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. To further investigate the fatigue associated with sunitinib therapy, thyroid function tests were performed on patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who were receiving sunitinib. Seventy-three patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma were treated with sunitinib at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center, and 66 of them had thyroid function test results available. Fifty-six (85%) of the 66 patients had one or more abnormality in their thyroid function test results, consistent with hypothyroidism, and 47 (84%) of the 56 patients with abnormal thyroid function tests had signs and/or symptoms possibly related to hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone replacement was undertaken in 17 patients, and symptoms improved in nine of them. Thyroid function test abnormalities appear to be common in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma treated with sunitinib, and routine monitoring is warranted.

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