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Emphasis on Choice of Drugs for Cancer Patients Considering Long Term Implications

There has been a recent emphasis on the long term implications of the choice of drugs for the cancer patients. Research suggests that certain medications might produce a harmful effect in future which is why the cancer patients need to be made aware of the choices they make. Survey showed that it was common for patients suffering from Kidney Cancer to prefer pazopanib rather than sunitinib. Even though at the moment, it might not seem like a difference but in the long run, it has been noticed that cancer might diminish from one part of the body and spread out to another if proper treatment and medication is not undertaken.

Dr. Bernard Escudier is a famous physician who stated, “While we expected patients would prefer one drug over the other, due to the known toxicity profiles, we didn’t expect this great a preference. This is an excellent method to report the way patients are feeling about the toxicity of drugs. It’s an important reminder that low-grade toxicities patients experience may not seem bad, but if you are experiencing the toxicity over a long time, it has an effect on your quality of life.”

He also explained how it is difficult to suggest what the patients feel about the drugs when they are in the process of consuming it. It often takes a couple of months to show how well they worked in curing the disease. A recent survey was conducted under which patients were experimented with the intake of Votrient and Sutent to cure Kidney cancer. The 168 participants were given a switch of the drug after a period of time and it was noticed that no one was able to pick out which drug worked, not even the physicians themselves.

Although there was a difference in preference of the doctors for which drug they prescribed but they did not exactly have a reason for their choice. The research however, stressed upon the fact that this was not just a random choice and that it had to be well thought upon, carefully considering the future implications. The manufacturers of Votrient, GlaxoSmithKline took an initiative to fund the research which was to be conducted to test the long term effects and the effectiveness of the drug to which Pfizer stated that it was essential to consider the time span under which this study was being conducted.

The study was centered upon a trial which laid considerable emphasis on the extent of tolerance of the patient which was a key factor in the treatment process. It was suggested by Pfizer that the study was quite limited in its scope and it could not totally be relied upon to test the significance of the topic of concern. They said, “One cannot establish a full understanding of the comparative risk/benefit profile of SutentR (sunitinib malate) from this study.”

It was also clearly mentioned that this case of cancer was a serious concern and that the medical advancements and pharmaceutical companies were in a constant quest for devising an appropriate drug that would help counter its implications and provide a reliable cure.


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