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What Is Pazopanib Used For?

A healthcare provider may prescribe pazopanib if you have been diagnosed with advanced renal cell carcinoma or soft tissue carcinoma. This medication works by blocking tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that tells cancer cells to grow and multiply. Pazopanib is not approved for use in children. However, it can sometimes be used off-label to treat pancreatic or thyroid cancer.

An Overview of Uses for Pazopanib

Pazopanib (Votrient®) is a prescription medication approved to treat people with certain types of cancer. Specifically, the medication is approved to treat:
  • Advanced renal cell carcinoma
  • Advanced soft tissue sarcoma, after other treatments have been tried.

Pazopanib Use for the Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

Advanced renal cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lining of small tubes in the kidneys. Although there are other types of kidney cancer, renal cell carcinoma is the most common type.
After a cancer diagnosis is made, healthcare providers use a process called staging to describe how far the disease has spread and where it is in relation to the original cancer cells. Staging can be helpful when planning the best treatment approach. In general, there are four stages of kidney cancer. These include the following:
  • Stage I: The tumor is small and has not spread beyond the kidneys.
  • Stage II: The tumor is bigger than in stage I, but still has not spread beyond the kidneys.
  • Stage III: Cancer has spread a little beyond the kidneys, or is found in one lymph node or the main blood vessels of the kidneys.
  • Stage IV: Cancer cells have moved beyond the kidneys, are in at least two lymph nodes, or have spread to other areas of the body. Stage IV kidney cancer is sometimes called advanced kidney cancer.
Treatment for kidney cancer can vary, based on the stage and a person's age, overall health, and personal preferences. Surgery to remove all or part of the kidney is usually recommended and may cure the disease in the earlier stages. In general, medications are reserved for advanced kidney cancer, when the goal of treatment is to ease symptoms and slow down progression of the disease.
Pazopanib is one of several medications used in the treatment of kidney cancer. It belongs to a group of medicines called kinase inhibitors. Specifically, pazopanib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Sunitinib (Sutent®) is another tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved to treat advanced kidney cancer.
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors also include a group of medications called mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors. mTOR is a different protein kinase. Temsirolimus (Torisel®) and everolimus (Afinitor®) are examples of mTOR inhibitors approved to treat kidney cancer.
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Pazopanib Drug Information

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