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Sunitinib (By mouth)

Treats cancer, including kidney cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET).

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Sunitinib is used to treat a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) after other medicines (eg, imatinib) did not work very well. It may also be used when patients are not able to take imatinib. GIST is a group of cancer cells that start growing in the wall of the stomach, bowels, or rectum. Sunitinib is also used to treat advanced (late-stage) kidney cancer and as additional treatment in patients… Read more
Brand names include
Drug classes About this
Antineoplastic Agent, Antiproliferative Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Off-label uses of sorafenib and sunitinib

Bibliographic details: Seidenfeld J, Hogan K.  Off-label uses of sorafenib and sunitinib. Chicago, Illinois, USA: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Technology Evaluation Center. Assessment Program Vol. 22, no. 11. 200818411502

Bevacizumab, sorafenib tosylate, sunitinib and temsirolimus for renal cell carcinoma: a systematic review and economic evaluation

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a highly vascular type of kidney cancer arising in the epithelial elements of the nephrons. The most common histological subtype of RCC is clear cell carcinoma (approximately 75% of cases). RCC is often asymptomatic until it reaches a late stage. In England and Wales, kidney cancer is the eighth most common cancer in men and the fourteenth most common in women. Of those diagnosed with RCC in England and Wales, about 44% live for at least 5 years after initial diagnosis and about 40% for at least 10 years. However, prognosis following diagnosis of metastatic disease is poor, and only about 10% of people diagnosed with stage IV RCC live for at least 5 years after diagnosis.

Risk of hypothyroidism in patients with cancer treated with sunitinib: a systematic review and meta-analysis

BACKGROUND: The multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib is used in various cancers. Clinical studies have reported a substantial variation in the incidence of hypothyroidism associated with sunitinib, without a systemic attempt to synthesize these data.

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Summaries for consumers

Axitinib (Inlyta) for renal cell cancer: Overview

The drug axitinib (trade name: Inlyta) has been approved in Germany since September 2012 for patients with advanced renal cell cancer who have already had unsuccessful treatment with a cytokine or the drug sunitinib.

Nivolumab (Opdivo) for advanced renal cell cancer: Overview

The drug nivolumab (trade name: Opdivo) has been approved in Germany since April 2016 for the treatment of advanced renal cell cancer. The drug is an option for adults who have already had treatment.

Immunotherapy for advanced kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is rarely curable once it has spread to other organs at the time of diagnosis. Targeted agents are currently considered as the standard treatment for advanced kidney cancer that has spread to other organs. This review examines clinical studies that have directly compared immunotherapies or combination therapies to current standard therapy.

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