Tyrosine kinase inhibitor role in cancer treatment

The role of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in cancer treatment is a relatively new and rapidly developing topic. Tyrosine kinases are proteins that regulate a multitude of cellular functions, including the growth and division of cells. Abnormal kinase activity is associated with out-of-control cell growth seen in cancer cells, and thus tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) can be used to inhibit this exaggerated activity.

The molecular process involved in it

To understand how TKIs can be used to treat cancer, it is important to first understand the molecular process at play. Kinases are enzymes that increase the activity of other molecules when phosphorylated. They add a phosphate group to the target molecule, which signals this molecule to become active and produce its desired effect. When the kinase is binding to the wrong target or is abnormally active for whatever reason, this can lead to cell division that is uncontrolled and, ultimately, cancerous growth.

Preventing cancer growth as a result

TKIs, then, can be used to target these aberrantly active kinases and ensure that they are not overactive or operating on the wrong molecule. By blocking their activity, cell division is kept in check and cancerous growth is prevented. In some cases, TKIs have had profound impacts in managing certain types of cancers, including lymphomas and leukaemias that are characterized by excessive division of white blood cells.

Important hallmark tool

TKIs are not limited to just cancer treatment. They can also be used to target a variety of other cell processes, including angiogenesis (creation of new blood vessels). By blocking the activity of kinases that are involved in angiogenesis, the growth of new tumours can be halted. Thus, the use of TKIs can be thought of as an important tool for both treating and preventing cancer. 

Insight into sorafenib

Sorafenib is a targeted cancer drug developed by the pharmaceutical company Bayer and is used to treat a variety of advanced cancers, such as renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and thyroid cancer. While not a cure for cancer, it effectively slows the progress of the disease. It involves the use of a small molecule inhibitor that works by blocking certain enzyme receptors involved in cancer growth*.

Application of the treatment

Sorafenib is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of advanced, unresectable kidney cancers, advanced hepatocellular carcinomas, and thyroid cancers that are unresponsive to radioactive iodine therapy. In general, the patient should not have received prior systemic treatment for the respective cancers. Sorafenib tablet is also being studied for the treatment of other types of advanced cancers, however, it is not currently approved for this use.

Targeting and blocking the action of multiple proteins

Sorafenib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, meaning it works by blocking multiple proteins and enzymes that play a role in regulating the growth and spread of cancer cells. This drug works by disabling the activity of cancer-signalling pathways, resulting in the cancer cells not receiving the signals they need to continue forming and spreading.

Dose of its administration

Sorafenib is most often administered in tablet form, taken twice a day and taken with a meal. Common side effects include fatigue, muscle and joint pains, digestive troubles, high blood pressure and swelling. Skin issues may also occur, such as a rash, dry skin, redness and peeling. Liver complications may develop, including an increase in the serum bilirubin, which is a breakdown product of red blood cells.* 

Conclusion

The application of TKIs for cancer treatment has been quite successful, and the drugs are increasingly becoming available for use in cancer therapy. TKIs have proven to be successful at slowing tumour growth, improving patient health and even, in some cases, prolonging life expectancy. It is likely that the use of TKIs will become even more prominent as researchers continue to fine-tune the drugs and identify novel applications in other cancer types. Thus, TKIs look to be a promising tool in the fight against cancer and could potentially be used in combination with other treatments to improve patient health and well-being.

 

FAQs

  1. Sorafenib is manufactured by which company?

Sorafenib is a targeted cancer drug developed by the pharmaceutical company Bayer

  1. Which type of diseases does sorafenib target?

Used to treat a variety of advanced cancers, such as renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and thyroid cancer.

  1. Which type of enzyme inhibitor is sorafenib?

Sorafenib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor

 

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