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What Is Temsirolimus Used For?

Temsirolimus is prescribed for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) in adults. It works by blocking the action of certain enzymes in the body, which helps to slow down the growth and spread of the cancer. There are also some possible "off-label," or unapproved, uses for temsirolimus, such as treating mantel cell lymphoma, which is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

An Overview of Temsirolimus Uses

Temsirolimus (Torisel®) is a prescription medication used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). It belongs to a group of medicines called kinase inhibitors.
Renal cell carcinoma is cancer that begins in the kidneys. It is commonly referred to as kidney cancer. There are actually several different types of kidney cancer, with RCC being the most common. In RCC, the cancer forms in the lining of small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products.
After someone is diagnosed with kidney cancer, healthcare providers use "staging" to help classify how far the cancer has progressed. Staging can be used to help guide kidney cancer treatment. Of course, a person's age, overall health, and personal preferences are also taken into consideration when planning treatment.
In general, there are four stages of kidney cancer. The specific stages include:
  • Stage I: This stage describes a small tumor that has not spread beyond the kidney.
  • Stage II: In Stage II, the tumor is bigger than in Stage I, but still has not spread beyond the kidneys.
  • Stage III: Stage III describes cancer that has spread a little beyond the kidney, or is found in one lymph node or in the main blood vessels of the kidneys.
  • Stage IV: In Stage IV, cancer cells have moved beyond the kidney, are in at least two lymph nodes, or have spread to other areas of the body. Cancer that has spread is called metastatic cancer. Stage IV kidney cancer is also called advanced kidney cancer.
Treatment in the early stages, when the cancer is still localized to the kidney, often involves surgery. However, as the cancer progresses, treatment usually includes medications, including temsirolimus. The goal of advanced kidney cancer treatment is usually to ease symptoms, improve quality of life, and slow down the growth of cancer cells to prolong survival.
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