Targeted drug therapy is a type of medication designed to interfere with pathways which can block the growth, spread and survival of cancer cells.

In advanced kidney cancer, recent advances have led to FDA approval for multiple targeted drug therapies. These therapies have been associated with improved response and longer survival compared to previous kidney cancer treatments.

The drug Sutent (sunitinib) is a pill which has been well established as an initial treatment for advanced kidney cancer. In a phase 3 clinical trial, nearly 3 in 4 patients had their disease stabilize and nearly 1 in 3 responded overall. For those with a more aggressive form of the disease, average survival was between 6 months to 2 years.

The following is a list of approved targeted drug therapies which represent the best available treatment options for patients with advanced kidney cancer:

  • Sutent (sunitinib)
  • Votrient (pazopanib)
  • Afinitor (everolimus)
  • Inlyta (axitinib)
  • Avastin (bevacizumab) plus Interferon
  • Torisel (temsirolimus)
  • Nexavar (sorafenib)

Patients treated with targeted drug therapy usually experience side effects, including but not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Hand-foot syndrome