Protein kinases are enzymes found in the body that regulate cell function, including cell growth. Afinitor works by blocking the action of a specific protein kinase called the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).
When mTOR does not function properly, as is the case in certain types of cancer and in people with tuberous sclerosis, cells grow and multiply abnormally. mTOR also promotes blood vessel growth into tumors, which supplies cancer cells with nutrients and energy, and gives them a way to spread to other areas of the body.
By inhibiting mTOR, Afinitor stops cancer and tumor cells from growing and multiplying. It also cuts off the blood supply to cancer cells, which may help slow down the spread of the disease.
Is It Safe for Children to Use Afinitor?
Afinitor is approved for use in children with SEGA who are at least one year old. It has not been adequately studied in younger infants with SEGA, or in individuals younger than 18 years old with other conditions. Afinitor comes in special tablets (known as Disperz tablets) that can be mixed with water to make a suspension just before each dose for use in children with SEGA.
Can Older Adults Use It?
Clinical trials with Afinitor included individuals who were 65 years of age and older. In these trials, there were no observed differences in safety or effectiveness between younger and older age groups. However, some older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medication, and therefore may need to be monitored more closely.
Off-Label Afinitor Uses
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this product for treating something other than the conditions listed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. Some off-label uses for Afinitor may include the treatment of:
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