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Three 'Targeted' Cancer Drugs Up Risk of Fatal Adverse Events

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 (Last Updated: 02/08/2012)

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The use of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) to treat cancer is associated with an increased risk of fatal adverse events (FAEs) but there is no difference in rates of FAEs between the different VEGFR TKIs or tumor types, according to a meta-analysis published online Feb. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Fabio A.B. Schutz, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature search and meta-analysis that included 4,679 patients from 10 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved VEGFR TKIs (pazopanib [435 patients], sunitinib [1,388 patients], and sorafenib [2,856 patients]) to determine the risk of FAEs. Eligible studies reported on patients with cancer with any primary tumor type, had a randomized design, and had an adequate safety profile.

The researchers found that the incidence of FAEs for patients treated with VEGFR TKIs was 1.5 percent, with a relative risk of 2.23 (P = 0.023), compared with control patients. On subgroup analysis, there was no difference seen in the rate of FAEs between different VEGFR TKIs or tumor types. There was also no evidence of publication bias.

"In a meta-analysis of RCTs, the use of VEGFR TKIs was associated with an increased risk of FAEs compared with control patients," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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