Other names

Sutent® (There may be other names for this medication.)

How Is It Administered?

Sunitinib malate comes as a tablet to taken by mouth, with or without food. Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

Why Am I Taking Sunatinib?

Sunitinib is used to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, and late-stage kidney (renal cell) cancer.

How Does it Work?

Sunitinib is a targeted therapy rather than a traditional chemotherapy drug. Traditional chemotherapy drugs identify cancer cells by their rapid reproduction, and then attacks them. Unfortunately, it also attacks normal cells in the body that naturally reproduce quickly.

Sunitinib works differently, and in two ways: As a protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor, it blocks the action of an abnormal protein that tells cancer cells to multiply. As an angiogenesis inhibitor, it interferes with the formation of new blood vessels to the tumor. Decreasing the blood supply also means decreasing the oxygen and nutrients to the tumor. This may slow the growth and spread of tumors.

Continue Reading Detailed Drug Profile