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Sunitinib can increase cardiac toxicity risk
Results of a study published in the December 15 issue of The Lancet show cancer drug sunitinib (Sutent, Pfizer) may be associated with cardiotoxicity. The retrospective analysis examined the records of patients who had received treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor and found 75 recipients experienced either heart failure, myocardial infarction, or hypertension during their treatment period. Patients with pre-existing coronary heart disease were also more likely to develop cardiac problems. An increased risk of heart failure has already been linked to related drug imatinib (Gleevec, Novartis), used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia. Study collaborators were from Children's Hospital in Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Thomas Jefferson University. Sunitinib is indicated for treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).