Pazopanib Treatment for Kidney Cancer

Pazopanib treatment for kidney cancer represents a significant advancement in targeted therapy, having received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2009 for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). This drug provided a new and effective option for patients, particularly those with advanced or metastatic RCC.

As a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), pazopanib targets multiple pathways, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors, and c-Kit, which are involved in cancer cell growth and spread. Its mechanism of action includes inhibiting these receptors, thereby blocking the growth of new blood vessels to tumors (angiogenesis) and limiting cancer cell proliferation.

Pazopanib is indicated for patients with advanced RCC, especially effective in treating clear cell RCC, the most common RCC subtype. It is administered orally in tablet form, making it convenient for outpatient treatment. The dosage of pazopanib may be adjusted based on the patient's response to the drug, side effects experienced, and overall health.

Clinical trials have demonstrated that pazopanib significantly improves progression-free survival in patients with metastatic RCC compared to a placebo. It is often used as a first-line treatment for advanced RCC, offering an alternative to other TKIs and immunotherapy.

Common side effects of pazopanib include high blood pressure, diarrhea, hair color changes, nausea, and fatigue. A significant side effect to monitor is liver toxicity. Management strategies include regular blood pressure monitoring, liver function tests, and dose adjustments as necessary.

Patients on pazopanib require frequent monitoring, including blood tests to check liver function and blood pressure measurements. Regular imaging studies are conducted to monitor the response to treatment and detect any signs of disease progression.

The introduction of pazopanib in 2009 offered a valuable addition to the treatment options for patients with advanced RCC. As a TKI targeting various pathways involved in tumor growth and angiogenesis, pazopanib has become a key component in managing advanced kidney cancer. Its oral administration and efficacy profile make it a suitable choice for many patients facing this challenging disease.


Sternberg CN, Davis ID, Mardiak J, et al. Pazopanib in locally advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma: results of a randomized phase III trial. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(6):1061-1068.


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