Sunitinib (Sutent®)

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Sunitinib is a small molecule receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor which also targets the VEGF pathway. Pfizer have market sunitinib for use in kidney cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumours under the name Sutent. Sutent prolongs survival rates in cancer sufferers. It is administered as a single agent (without chemotherapy). Sunitinib targets the VEGF receptors 1 and 2, KIT, fms-related tyrosine kinase 3 and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR). As a result it is associated with side-effects, such as hypothyroidism and skin/hair complaints. Sunitinib is also associated with hypertension, proteinuria and haemorrhages - most likely a consequence of inhibiting VEGF.