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Br J Cancer. 2009 Nov 17;101(10):1717-23. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605366. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

Myelosuppression and kinase selectivity of multikinase angiogenesis inhibitors.

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Cancer Research, GlaxoSmithKline, Collegeville, PA 19426, USA.



Myelosuppression has been observed with several multikinase angiogenesis inhibitors in clinical studies, although the frequency and severity varies among the different agents. Inhibitors targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) often inhibit other kinases, which may contribute to their adverse-event profiles.


Kinase selectivity of pazopanib, sorafenib, and sunitinib was evaluated in a panel of 242 kinases. Cellular potency was measured using autophosphorylation assays. Effect on human bone marrow progenitor growth in the presence of multiple growth factors was evaluated and correlated with the kinase selectivity.


Sunitinib inhibited more kinases than pazopanib and sorafenib, at potencies within 10-fold of VEGFR-2. All three compounds potently inhibited VEGFR-2, platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta and c-Kit, However, pazopanib was less active against Flt-3 in both kinase and cellular assays. The inhibitory properties of pazopanib, sorafenib, and sunitinib were dependent on the growth factor used to initiate bone marrow colony formation. Addition of stem cell factor and/or Flt-3 ligand with granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor resulted in significant shifts in potency for sorafenib and sunitinib but less so for pazopanib.


Activity against c-kit and Flt-3 by multikinase angiogenesis inhibitors provide a potential explanation for the differences in myelosuppression observed with these agents in patients.

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