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Acta Medica Medianae
Vol. 48, No3, October, 2009
UDK 61
YU ISSN 0365-4478


Correspondence to:
Bojana Petrović 
Kestenova 1/8,
11000 Beograd
Tel.: 011/239-5922





Original article
UDC: 616.61-006.6:616.59:577.15



Bojana Petrović, Sinisa Radulović and Slobodan Janković


Medicinski fakultet, Univerzitet u Kragujevcu, Srbija1

Institut za onkologiju i radiologiju Srbije, Beograd, Srbija2


Sunitinib is small, lipophilic, synthetic molecule that interferes with tyrosine-kinase domain of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, and prevents its activation after binding the vascular endothelial growth factor. Both in vitro and in vivo, sunitinib inhibits angiogenesis and suppresses growth of metastases, which depends on newly formed blood vessels. It was already approved by FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) in January 2006 for treatment of advanced renal-cell cancer and imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Among adverse effects, it causes skin desquamation on fingers and toes, whitening of hair, eyebrows, mustache and beard. The aim of our study was to prove the causal relationship between sunitinib administration and skin adverse effects. The study involved the patients with metastasized renal cell carcinoma treated at the Institute for Radiology and Oncology of Serbia, in Belgrade. There were twelve patients (mean age 53.3 11.1 years) who took sunitinib 50 mg daily, for 4 weeks (“cases”). Control group was composed of fourteen patients (mean age 54.6 9.8 years) on standard therapy with interferon alpha (6 MJ three times weekly) and vinblastine 10 mg, two days per cycle. The control patients were matched with “cases” by age, sex, phase of the disease and nephrectomy. Out of patients who received sunitinib, eleven (92%) developed desquamation on fingers and toes, whitening of hair, eyebrows, mustache and beard, while none of the skin adverse effects was observed in the control group (OR=143). The distribution of hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes mellitus in the groups was not significantly different (p>0.05). There is a strong association between administration of sunitinib in patients with renal cell carcinoma and observed skin adverse effects. Acta Medica Medianae 2009;48(3):5-8.

Key words: sunitinib, hand-foot syndrome, angiogenesis