Cancer drug sunitinib (Sutent) can create heart problems

All patients taking sunitinib, but especially those who have risks for heart disease, need careful monitoring and treatment for high blood pressure and other signs of heart problems.

New study find – Sunitinib (Sutent), which fights stomach tumors, can also create heart problems for some patients.

Sunitinib is one of a family of new and powerful anti-cancer drugs called tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, which target key molecular pathways thought to encourage tumor growth. Other drugs in this family include imatinib, better known as Gleevec, and dasatinib (Sprycel).

Sunitinib’s maker, Pfizer Inc., agreed that these heart risks do exist. However, they added that the cardiovascular events “were medically manageable in most patients and underscore the importance of having a collaborative team of healthcare professionals working together to appropriately manage patients, who have limited available options” in treating their cancer.