Original article 616.61-006.6:616.59:577.15
SIDE EFFECTS OF SUNITINIB MANIFESTED ON SKIN OF PATIENTS
DIAGNOSED WITH RENAL CELL CARCINOMA:
Bojana Petrović1, Sinisa Radulović2 and Slobodan Janković1
Sunitinib is a small, lipophilic, synthetic molecule that interferes with tyrosine-
kinase domain of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, and prevents its activation
after binding the vascular endothelial growth factor. Both in vitro and in vivo, sunitinib
inhibits angiogenesis, and suppress growth of metastases, which depends on newly formed
blood vessels. It was approved by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) in January
2006 for the treatment of advanced renal-cell cancer and imatinib-resistant gastro-
intestinal stromal tumours.
Among other adverse effects, it causes skin desquamation on fingers and toes,
whitening of hair, eyebrows, mustache and beard.
The aim of our study was to prove the causal relationship between sunitinib
administration and skin adverse effects.
The study involved the patients with metastasized renal cell carcinoma treated at
the Institute for Radiology and Oncology of Serbia, in Belgrade. There were twelve patients
(mean age 53.3 ± 11.1 years) who took sunitinib 50 mg daily, for 4 weeks (“cases”).
Control group was composed of fourteen patients (mean age 54.6 ± 9.8 years) on
standard therapy with interferon alpha (6 MJ three times weekly) and vinblastine 10mg,
two days per cycle. The control patients were matched with “cases” by age, sex, phase of
the disease and nephrectomy.
Out of the patients who received sunitinib, eleven (92%) patients developed
desquamation on fingers and toes, whitening of hair, eyebrows, mustache and beard, while
none of the skin adverse effects was observed in the control group (OR = 143). The
distribution of hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes mellitus in the groups was not
significantly different (p>0.05).
There is a strong asso