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Vandetanib (van-DEH-tuh-nib)A drug used to treat medullary thyroid cancer that is locally advanced or has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients whose cancer cannot be removed by surgery. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Vandetanib prevents the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also blocks enzymes needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. Vandetanib is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called Caprelsa and ZD6474.

Information about Vandetanib

Vandetanib is a multi-kinase inhibitor that is used in the therapy of advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer.  


Liver safety of Vandetanib

Vandetanib therapy is commonly associated with transient elevations in serum aminotransferase during therapy, but has not been linked to cases of clinically apparent acute liver injury with jaundice. 

Mechanism of action of Vandetanib

Vandetanib (van det’ a nib) is an orally available, multi-kinase inhibitor with activity against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor families as well as RET (rearranged-during- transfection), BRK, TIE2 and Src kinases.  Vandetanib has potent anti-angiogenesis activity and specific potency against mutant RET tyrosine kinases that are found in most hereditary and a large proportion of spontaneous medullary thyroid cancers.  Clinical trials of vandetanib in advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer have documented significant prolongation of progression free survival. 

FDA approval information for Vandetanib

Vandetanib received approval for use in the United States in 2011 and current indications are for symptomatic or progressive, unresectable or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer. 

Dosage and administration for Vandetanib

Vandetanib is available in tablets of 100 and 300 mg under the brand name Caprelsa, and the recommended initial dose is 300 mg once daily.  side effects are common and can be problematic and even fatal. 

Side effects of Vandetanib

The most frequent adverse events include diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, rash, acne, hypertension, headache, anorexia and abdominal pain.  Less common, but potentially severe side effects include prolongation of the QTc interval, heart failure, sudden death, severe skin toxicity, Stevens Johnson syndrome, interstitial lung disease, hemorrhage, ischemic cerebrovascular events, reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome and embryo-fetal toxicity.  Vandetanib is available only through a restricted distribution program that requires certification and regular monitoring. 

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