Kidney cancer or Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) accounts of approximately 2% of all new cancers. The occurrence of this type of cancer is steadily increasing due to smoking and obesity. The American Cancer Society, in their 2009 report, stated that 45,000 new cases of RCC developed in the US in 2008 with more than 13,000 people dying from the disease. Afinitor (everolimus), developed and manufactured by Novartis is the first oral daily therapy for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer, after failure of treatment with Sunitinib or Sorferib in cancer cells. The drug received FDA approval in March 2009.

Workings and Side Effects of Afinitor

Afinitor continuously target mTOR, a protein that acts as a central regulator of the tumor cell division, blood vessel growth and cell metabolism. The medicine stops cancer cells from making new cancer cells besides cutting off the blood supply to the cancer cells. The drug is also used to treat subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA), a brain tumor seen with a genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis or TS.

The drug is available in two strengths of 5mg and 10mg. The recommended initial dose of this medicine is 10mg, which has to be taken once daily, at the same time every day. The tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water and not chewed or crushed.

Some common side effects of this drug are:Mouth ulcersInfectionsWeaknessCoughDiarrheaNausea and feverLoss of appetiteSwelling of body partsHeadachesInflammation of the lining of the digestive systemHowever, some serious side effects may also be witnessed by a few patients taking Afinitor:Lung or breathing problems may be witnessed, which can even result in death in certain cases. Patients witnessing such symptoms should stop taking the drug immediately.Various infections, such as pneumonia, bacterial, fungal or viral may occur in patients taking Afinitor.Important Information Related to Afinitor

Patients should inform their physician about all health problems faced by them and the medicines being consumed by them. This is important because several drug to drug interactions can have an adverse impact on their health. Certain important points to remember are:Patients should not drink grapefruit juice, or eat grapefruit, star fruit, or Seville oranges during treatment.Afinitor should not be recommended to patients taking medicines for fungal and bacterial infections, tuberculosis, seizures, HIV-AIDS, blood pressure or heart conditions and medicines that suppress individuals’ immune system.The drug should not be prescribed to people allergic to its contentsThe drug may harm a pregnant patient’s fetusIt should not be prescribed when a breastfeeding womanThe use of this drug may reduce male or female fertilityPeople being treated with this drug should not get a live vaccine or be around with people who have recently received a live vaccine