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Larkin, James; Fishman, Mayer; Wood, Laura; Negrier, Sylvie; Olivier, Kara; Pyle, Linda; Gorbunova, Vera; Jonasch, Eric; Andrews, Lori; Staehler, Michael (2014): Axitinib for the Treatment of Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma. Recommendations for Therapy Management to Optimize Outcomes. In: American Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 47, No. 4: pp. 397-403


Axitinib is a novel, oral, multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1, 2, and 3 at subnanomolar concentrations in vitro. In the phase III clinical trial in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, axitinib showed a high objective response rate, and significantly prolonged progression-free survival compared with sorafenib. Thus, it is the first drug that has proven the concept of sequencing tyrosine kinase inhibitors in second-line treatment in a phase III prospective randomized trial. Although generally well tolerated and associated with a low incidence of grade 3 or 4 toxicities, axitinib shows a distinct pattern of adverse events that require monitoring and management. The most common adverse events observed with axitinib include diarrhea, hypertension, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. This article summarizes the most important adverse events observed and proposes recommendations for their monitoring, prevention, and treatment. The recommendations are based on the existing literature and discussion by an expert group of international physicians and nurses specialized in oncologic treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, which gathered in July 2011 in London, UK. Proactive assessment and management of adverse events during axitinib therapy can minimize treatment interruptions and ensure optimal effect of treatment.