How is Everolimus Administered?
Everolimus is taken by mouth, as a tablet. Take it at the same time each day, with a whole glass of water. Swallow the tablet whole - do not chew or crush the tablet. Do not touch tablets that have broken or crumbled. Everolimus also comes as a tablet meant to suspend in water. Do not take both types of tablets – take one type or the other.
Why is Everolimus Used?
This drug is used to treat advanced renal cell (kidney), breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastasis), advanced neuroendocrine tumors in the pancreas (PNET), and brain tumors called SEGAs (subependymal giant cell astrocytomas).
How Does Everolimus Work?
Everolimus is a type of targeted therapy, rather than traditional chemotherapy. Specifically, it is an mTOR (mammalian target for rapamycin) inhibitor.
Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells multiply without control. Traditional chemotherapy agents identify cancer cells by their rapid rate of multiplication– and then attack those cells. Unfortunately, it also attacks normal cells that multiply quickly. Targeted therapy identifies other differences between normal cells and cancer cells, and then uses that difference to attack the cancer cells, sparing the normal cells.
As an mTOR inhibitor, everolimus interferes with the master switch that controls cancer cell growth and reproduction.
Everolimus also works by reducing the levels of some growth factors that the tumor needs to create new blood vessels. By blocking the creation of these new blood vessels (a process called antiangiogenesis), the tumor cannot get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow.