Everolimus

Brand Names

Afinitor®

How is Everolimus Administered?

Everolimus is taken by mouth, as a tablet. Take it at the same time each day, either with or without food. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not chew or crush the tablet. Do not touch a table that has broken or crumbled.

What Is It Used For?

This drug is used to treat advanced renal cell (kidney) cancer if sunitinib and sorafenib fail.

How Does Everolimus Work?

Everolimus is not a traditional chemotherapy medication; it is a targeted therapy, specifically an mTOR inhibitor. (mTOR stands for mammalian target for rapamycin.)

Traditional chemotherapy drugs identify cancer cells by their rapid rate of reproduction, and then attack those cells. Unfortunately, there are many cells in our bodies that normally reproduce rapidly and these cells are also affected by traditional chemotherapy drugs, resulting in many unpleasant side effects.

Everolimus is designed to work differently. It blocks the receptors where macrolides antibiotic that works about the mTOR receptors on cells. mTOR acts as a master switch on a cell and controls its expansion, growth, and reproduction. Although mTOR in found in all your cells, it is particularly important in tumor cells that reproduce and invade nearby tissue very aggressively. By interfering with the mTOR of these tumor cells, the cell’s reproduction and growth cycle is interrupted, and eventually the cell dies (called apoptosis).

Everolimus reduces certain growth factors that are needed to develop new blood vessels, which the tumor needs in order to continue to grow and reproduce. By blocking the creation of these new blood vessels (a process called antiangiogenesis), the tumor is deprived of the oxygen and nutrients it needs, ultimately causing the cells to starve.

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