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Using Afinitor for the Treatment of Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissue of the kidneys. There are several different types of kidney cancer, the most common being renal cell carcinoma (RCC). With RCC, cancer forms in the lining of the small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products.
 
Treatment for kidney cancer can vary, depending on how far the disease has progressed. Other factors taken into consideration can include a person's age, overall health, and personal preferences. Treatment of early-stage cancer, when the disease is still localized to the kidney, often involves surgical removal of the cancer. The majority of people with early-stage kidney cancer can be cured with surgery.
 
However, as the disease progresses, the likelihood of a cure is reduced. Advanced kidney cancer, or cancer that has spread beyond the kidney to other areas of the body (has metastasized), is not likely to be cured with surgery. Instead, treatment is aimed at easing symptoms, improving quality of life, and slowing down the growth of cancer cells to prolong survival.
 
Afinitor is approved to treat advanced kidney cancer that was not successfully treated with sunitinib (Sutent®) or sorafenib (Nexavar®). It may help extend the length of time the cancer remains stable and does not progress.
 

Afinitor Uses for the Treatment of Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytoma

Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) is a type of brain tumor that occurs in people with a rare genetic condition known as tuberous sclerosis. This condition causes noncancerous tumors to grow throughout the body, most commonly in the brain. SEGA is a slow-growing tumor that is usually found in the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces) of the brain, where it can block spinal fluid flow and cause a variety of symptoms.
 
Although not all individuals with SEGA experience symptoms, when symptoms do occur, they usually begin between the ages of 10 and 30 years old. Some of the symptoms of SEGA may include but are not limited to:
 
 
Treatment is usually recommended once symptoms appear or when a tumor is increasing in size. Surgical removal of the tumor is the standard treatment, when treatment is needed. However, surgery cannot always successfully remove SEGA.
 
Afinitor is approved for the treatment of SEGA that requires treatment but cannot be cured with surgery. The medication has been shown to reduce tumor size. It has not been shown to improve symptoms or prolong survival.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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