Patients & Visitors



Treatments for Advanced Kidney Cancer

Biological therapies use substances that occur naturally in the body to destroy cancer cells.  They may be used to try to control locally-advanced kidney cancer and kidney cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. For some people they may help to shrink the cancer or slow its growth.

Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors

Sunitinib and Pazopanib are drugs used in the initial treatment of people with locally-advanced kidney cancer or kidney cancer that has spread to other areas of the body.  They are examples of a type of drug called a multi-targeted kinase inhibitor. They works by interfering with signals that tell cells to grow and slow the growth of new blood vessels in the tumour.

They are usually taken daily as a tablet for four consecutive weeks with a two-week rest period. This makes up a cycle of treatment. Your doctor may adjust the dose during your treatment.

Their side effects are similar and include:

  1. Tiredness
  2. Skin changes, such as a rash or thinning hair
  3. Palms of the hands and the soles of the feet often become reddened and sore and can sometimes swell
  4. A sore mouth
  5. Raised blood pressure
  6. Thyroid problems

Other drugs are under evaluation by NICE and may be useful when Sunitinib or Pazopanib stop working.