Drugs of interest to pathologists
Drugs related to surgical pathology

Topic Completed: 1 December 2011

Minor changes: 22 August 2019

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PubMed Search: Vandetanib "loattrfree full text"[sb] review [ptyp]

Him G. Kwee, M.D.
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Cite this page: Kwee HG. Vandetanib. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/drugsvandetanib.html. Accessed August 7th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • A multikinase inhibitor
Trade name
  • Initially called Zactima by AstraZeneca but changed to Caprelsa® in August 2011 to avoid confusion with other drugs
Clinical information
Uses by pathologists
  • Vandetanib inhibits VEGFR-2 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor), EGFR and RET-tyrosine kinase activity (RET means rearranged during transfection proto-oncogene)
  • 25% of hereditary MCT cases are associated with RET mutations but the efficacy of vandetanib is independent of the RET mutation status of MCT (cancer.gov: FDA Approves New Treatment for Medullary Thyroid Cancer [Accessed 14 December 2018])
  • Vandetanib should not be used if there is hypocalcemia, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia or in long QT interval syndrome, since it can cause life threatening cardiac arrhythmias
  • Other side effects include:
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome
    • Acne, photosensitivity and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
    • Interstitial lung disease
    • Diarrhea with electrolyte imbalance (AstraZeneca news bulletin August 1, 2011)
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