Afinitor is the wonder drug launched by Novartis. It was the first drug to get FDA approval for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). RCC is more commonly referred to as kidney cancer whose primary cause is related to smoking and obesity. According to the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RCC accounts for more than 2% of the cancer cases reported worldwide. The number is steadily growing as more than 50,000 patients in the US were diagnosed with RCC in 2010. Afinitor was such a huge success that in 2010, Novartis decided to conduct Phase-3 trials to test the drug for treating other types of cancer.
What does Afinitor Do?
Afinitor is generally used at a later stage to prevent the growth of cancerous cells, having the propensity of forming a tumor in the kidney tissues. It is used only after drugs, such as sorafenib or sunitinib, have proven ineffective on a patient.
Cancerous cells growth in the kidney is controlled by a protein called mTor. The protein regulates the blood flow and other metabolic activity in the body. Afinitor has a two-way action plan. It attacks the cancerous cells and attempts to destroy them. At the same time, it cuts off their supply lines by attacking the blood vessels which supply these cells with necessary ingredients for their growth. The drug’s action is aimed at mTor.
Should You Inform the Doctor Before Taking Afinitor
Although, the drug is a pleasant breakthrough for anyone suffering from RCC, there are some patients who need to exercise extra caution. The drug is very strong and can cause lung and breathing problems. These effects are grave and have even been observed to have fatal consequences in some cases. It is therefore advisable that patients with any kind of COPD or asthma should notify their doctors immediately. Even at later stages of the treatment, patients must get in touch with their doctor quickly if any problem in respiration is noticed.
How Much Does Afinitor Cost?
Afinitor is a very expensive medication. Although it is a life-saving drug, many people could not afford it in the past. Thankfully there are Canadian generic substitutes available nowadays. The generics have the same chemical formulation as the original Novartis drug but are offered at a 50% discount. This means that you can save approximately $ 4500 for a 30-day dosage.