Nexavar, Sutent, Votrient Increase Death Risk In Cancer Patients: Study

The cancer drugs Nexavar, Sutent and Votrient appear to increase the risk of death among some patients, according to the findings of a new study. 

An estimated 1.5 out of every 100 patients given one of the three cancer drugs die due to complications, according to the findings of a study published earlier this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. That is more than twice the rate of death among patients given a placebo.

According to a press release by the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, whose scientists led the study, the three drugs all work by blocking the growth of important receptors in cancer cells. They belong to a class of drugs known as multiple kinase inhibitors.

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The study looked at 10 clinical trials involving 4,679 people treated with the drugs. Researchers said there was a 1.5% complication fatality rate among patients given the drugs, while only .6% of those on placebos died from complications.

Researchers said that the rate of incidence, overall, was small, but was high enough that patients and doctors should be informed. The drugs are still considered a benefit for the majority of the patients that need them, according to the researchers.

The most common fatal complication was bleeding, but patients also appeared to be at higher risk for heart attack, heart failure and liver failure.

Nexavar (sorafenib) is a Bayer Healthcare and Onyx Pharmaceuticals drug approved for the treatment of kidney cancer and liver cancer. It is used by about 200,000 patients.

Sutent (sunitinib) is a Pfizer drug used to treat kidney cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).

Votrient is a GlaxoSmithKline drug approved for the treatment of kidney cancer. 

The FDA investigated Sutent side effects for links to possible liver failure in 2009.

25 Comments

  • BernyApril 2, 2024 at 4:00 am

    My fiancé was prescribed Votrient and experienced serious kidney, thyroid, and bleeding complications after a few weeks.

  • KyndraJune 26, 2022 at 8:58 am

    My Father had Hep C for years. He caught malaria in Vietnam; which I belive attributed to his liver cancer. Dad worked, was funny and was full of energy, most days. He called me with excitement to tell me that he would be starting interferone (which would eliminate his Hep C.). This was in 2014. I noticed in 2015, that he was dropping weight - the whole year. In Jan. 2016, he went in to be evalua[Show More]My Father had Hep C for years. He caught malaria in Vietnam; which I belive attributed to his liver cancer. Dad worked, was funny and was full of energy, most days. He called me with excitement to tell me that he would be starting interferone (which would eliminate his Hep C.). This was in 2014. I noticed in 2015, that he was dropping weight - the whole year. In Jan. 2016, he went in to be evaluated and was told, after $50,000.00 of testing, that he now had liver cancer. The doctors suggested going in and burning around the cancer in March of 2016 in order to keep it from spreading. Well, they only aggravated the cancer and made it spread to his lungs and brain. In lare July, they suggested Nexavar. He did not live 6 weeks after taking this killer drug that grossly speeded up his death. They let him know in advance that even if he had stopped talking this killer drug, that it would continue to work in his body, which it did. He lost his appetite, slept a lot, was in constant excruciating pain and then died on Sept. 24th 2016. Murder it was ...

  • andresApril 25, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    MY MOM WAS GIVEN NEXAVAR,SHE STARTED TO GO DOWN ,HER HEALTH INSTEAD OF HELPING THE DRUG KILL HER R.I.P MOM...

  • HarveyOctober 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    I was admitted to the hospital about a week ago due to chest pain. And later discovery my hemoglobin level was low was due to Sutent. They give me 3 unit of blood the past week So the doctors did a gastroscope which revived the inside of my stomach had uclers (they test me about a year and no uclers) and non-bleeding erosive gastropathy. This is the third time this happen. I was on Sutent for a [Show More]I was admitted to the hospital about a week ago due to chest pain. And later discovery my hemoglobin level was low was due to Sutent. They give me 3 unit of blood the past week So the doctors did a gastroscope which revived the inside of my stomach had uclers (they test me about a year and no uclers) and non-bleeding erosive gastropathy. This is the third time this happen. I was on Sutent for a year. Peeling of skin etc.

  • SkipAugust 31, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    My wife had cirrhosis of the liver caused from Hep C, which was supposed to have been cured first by interferon, which didn't work, I had to rush her to the hospital for an infusion session, and then was prescribed Sofosbuvir which worked and then put on Promacta which she took for 3 or 4 years due to low platelet counts , during those years of taking Promacta, she had blood draws every six to e[Show More]My wife had cirrhosis of the liver caused from Hep C, which was supposed to have been cured first by interferon, which didn't work, I had to rush her to the hospital for an infusion session, and then was prescribed Sofosbuvir which worked and then put on Promacta which she took for 3 or 4 years due to low platelet counts , during those years of taking Promacta, she had blood draws every six to eight weeks to check her platelet count which was always too high or too low, then something changed in her liver, and after some months ascites started, I took her to the hospital for a paracentesis, they found blood clots on the vain that goes to her liver, and same for her large intestine, air lifted her to a hospital in Las Vegas, for eight days, used blood thinners to shrink the clots , did a biopsy and sent her home. They then had her on Lovenox, Furosemide, Spironolactone and then put on nexavar, 8 days later goes into 3 day coma and dies.

  • TracyJuly 11, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    My husband had liver cancer that was localized in the liver, meaning the cancer stayed in the liver. He was diagnose in 2015 and chose not treat it. He had days where he slept a lot or was fatigue but he lived a normal life. His eyes had a yellow tint to them but he continued his daily life and lived it well. In December 2018 his doctors ordered a PET scanned and suggested he start taking the d[Show More]My husband had liver cancer that was localized in the liver, meaning the cancer stayed in the liver. He was diagnose in 2015 and chose not treat it. He had days where he slept a lot or was fatigue but he lived a normal life. His eyes had a yellow tint to them but he continued his daily life and lived it well. In December 2018 his doctors ordered a PET scanned and suggested he start taking the drug Nexavar. I told him not to take it and he didn't. After several visits to the doctor he was convince to try the drug out. I begged him not to because I could see his body was already weak. His doctors never told him Nexavar could possibly exasperate the decline of the liver. Well, he was a person walking, talking, and well aware of his surrounding before Nexavar. After taking Nexavar on Februar 4 - February 14, 2019 His body went into failure and the last week of his life he couldn't walk, he barley talked, he declined mentally, slept a lot and died February 25, 2019. I know if he had never took Nexavar we would have had at least a year or so together. My husband himself said he couldn't understand why everything on his body was failing at the same time. I was so caught up in taking care of him I didn't realize it was that little red pill Nexavar. It should be banned from medicine!!!

  • JessicaAugust 6, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    My Dad Died two weeks after taking Nexavar. He was doing ok before taking this $8,000 a month killer pill.His Doc made it sound like a freaking wonder drug. Yes Doc explained all risk but again made them sound like in rare cases. LIE LIE LIE and now my Dad is dead. It happen so fast I didn't make it to the hospital in time. Nobody did so my Dad died alone. THIS HAS TO STOP!!! WE ALL NEED TO TAKE A[Show More]My Dad Died two weeks after taking Nexavar. He was doing ok before taking this $8,000 a month killer pill.His Doc made it sound like a freaking wonder drug. Yes Doc explained all risk but again made them sound like in rare cases. LIE LIE LIE and now my Dad is dead. It happen so fast I didn't make it to the hospital in time. Nobody did so my Dad died alone. THIS HAS TO STOP!!! WE ALL NEED TO TAKE A STAND>

  • PamelaAugust 6, 2019 at 5:18 am

    I want to know if there's a lawsuit against Sudan nexavar or sinufrin my husband had lung cancer he was in the Vietnam War and they gave him nexavar 3 years into his disease and within one month he was dead as soon as he started taking the drug he felt ill any Salford for 1 month and and a few weeks before he died my phone number is 661 256 4492 my name is Pamela Sowers I hope to hear from you get[Show More]I want to know if there's a lawsuit against Sudan nexavar or sinufrin my husband had lung cancer he was in the Vietnam War and they gave him nexavar 3 years into his disease and within one month he was dead as soon as he started taking the drug he felt ill any Salford for 1 month and and a few weeks before he died my phone number is 661 256 4492 my name is Pamela Sowers I hope to hear from you get some resolve my husband was 100% disabled from the Vietnam War and he was told that he gets a nice check but now that he was in the va's hands at the VA Hospital they killed him so they wouldn't have to pay him anymore he suffered at the hands of the VA I can go into grave detail with you I stayed with him for 27 days 24 hours a day because they were abusing him terribly thank you so much

  • JimMay 29, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    My wife died a sudden, violent, and bloody death three weeks after starting taking Votrient. It looked like her lungs had exploded!

  • MELISSAJanuary 21, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    my father was on votrient for about 2 weeks, his cancer progressed and he was taken off, over the course of 3 day after stopping Votrient he died! tumors metastasized, kidneys shut down, he had internal bleeding and many many other issues that forced me to make the choice of letting me go comfortable. I wish there was a lawyer here in Arizona that could help me with his wrongful death

  • JessicaNovember 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    My dad took Nexavar for a week and died of liver failure and the cancer had spread. I am in the process of trying to sue the companies and doctor for malpractice because my dad should have never been given hat medicine. If anyone has anything that could help in suing the companies that make this please share with me. Or if you want to get involved with me and do it together that would be great!

  • JasonSeptember 29, 2017 at 10:16 am

    My mother was diagnosed with liver cancer and given nexavar . Three weeks ago we went out for a family lunch because she was starting treatment the next week . Within one week of taking nexavar she went from driving and walking to being in wheel chair from being weak , called Dr he said it was normal . Two days later she had a heart attack and was taken to hospital that prescribed the meds. Her on[Show More]My mother was diagnosed with liver cancer and given nexavar . Three weeks ago we went out for a family lunch because she was starting treatment the next week . Within one week of taking nexavar she went from driving and walking to being in wheel chair from being weak , called Dr he said it was normal . Two days later she had a heart attack and was taken to hospital that prescribed the meds. Her oncologist wanted to continue treatment but mom denied any further use . So she has taken nexavar for a week an stopped use right ? Nbd right ? No ! She is already in multiple organ failure and with all she had been threw her brain was effected by all her labs coming back high . My mother was supposed to have 5 more years with treatment mind you . The hospital kept her about a week an sent her home on hospice, she died 2 days later ! So within around a week of use this Dr. and drug killed my mother . We had trips planned to Ireland and to New Mexico for her to see Carlsbad caverns . Don't be fooled by Drs and there horseshit ,research ur options and treatments. Please don't bury ur loved ones like I did .

  • MarkJune 29, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    My wife was on nexavar for five weeks and ran a fever every time she took a dose for a couple of hours controlled by Tylenol. The nurse said that was normal when she saw the liver dr her white count was up and she went to pcp to be put on antibiotics for some fluids on her lung after a week she was sent to the hospital to have fluid drained and I v antibiotics supposedly a simple thing .oncoligist[Show More]My wife was on nexavar for five weeks and ran a fever every time she took a dose for a couple of hours controlled by Tylenol. The nurse said that was normal when she saw the liver dr her white count was up and she went to pcp to be put on antibiotics for some fluids on her lung after a week she was sent to the hospital to have fluid drained and I v antibiotics supposedly a simple thing .oncoligist said keep taking nexavar she went down hill they killed her kidneys with so much meds because the white count stayed elevated I wished we wot have never took nexavar I think she would have lived longeri

  • TimApril 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    My dad had liver cancer for 2 years. He started with Y-90 treatments and then chemoembilization. He had cirrohsis (not from drinking, just one of those rare cases of bad luck), so they felt they couldn't do those direct treatments to the tumors anymore. He started Nexavar towards the end of January. He was on it a couple weeks before he started to get really week and it made his ascites worse.[Show More]My dad had liver cancer for 2 years. He started with Y-90 treatments and then chemoembilization. He had cirrohsis (not from drinking, just one of those rare cases of bad luck), so they felt they couldn't do those direct treatments to the tumors anymore. He started Nexavar towards the end of January. He was on it a couple weeks before he started to get really week and it made his ascites worse. He was getting fluid drained weekly and it wasn't enough. They stopped the Nexavar after about 4 weeks for a few days and the next week they said put him into hospice. He lasted another week (couldn't even walk and the ammonia destroyed his mind). It was a quick turn and I will only be left wondering what if he never took the Nexavar. I know the cancer was progressing, but would we still have had another year? Would he have had a longer period of quality life? I am glad he is no longer suffering, but I miss him immensely. Nexavar sucks.

  • KyndraMarch 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Nexavar KILLED my Father in less than 6 weeks. At first the Mayo Clinic suggested a procedure on his liver to burn around the cancer spots in order to keep it from spreading. They assured us that 30 doctors voted that this procedure was best for Dad and said the surgery would keep it from spreading. He had the surgery in March, by Memorial Day weekend he knew something was very wrong. On July 18t[Show More]Nexavar KILLED my Father in less than 6 weeks. At first the Mayo Clinic suggested a procedure on his liver to burn around the cancer spots in order to keep it from spreading. They assured us that 30 doctors voted that this procedure was best for Dad and said the surgery would keep it from spreading. He had the surgery in March, by Memorial Day weekend he knew something was very wrong. On July 18th the Dr.'s told him that there was nothing more that they could do for him. The docs then suggested Nexavar because the surgery made the cancer spread to his lungs. Before Nexavar my Dad was moving around pretty good- he was moving around with no pain before the surgery. He had to stop Nexavar because it broke down his immune system, completely took away his appetite ( made him anorexic) even after he discontinued the meds . The meds were for 6 weeks but after two or three they suggesting we call hospice. Those horrific guinea pig meds affected him swallowing and did something to his lungs. He went from walking briskly to barely being able to get around within weeks of Nexavar. He was bones when he died. Shame on the Doctors and the drug manufacturers.

  • JEANNEJanuary 13, 2017 at 12:00 am

    MY HUSBAND HAD SEVERAL PROCEDURES DONE ONHIS LIVER AND AFTER THE CANCER SPREAD TO HIS LUNGS AND BONES THE DOCTOR PUT HIM ON NEXAVAR HE DIED 3 WEEKS LATER A HORRIBLE GRUELING DEATH, AFTER 0 DAYS ON THE MEDICINE HE COULDNT EVEN GET OUT OF BED OR DRESS HIMSELF

  • CameronJanuary 2, 2016 at 4:12 am

    My wife passed due to complications, she was prescribed sutent for lung cancer ( not approved ) she died as a result of this drug, I have written over and over, and never had a reply from the makers

  • AnthonyOctober 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    My mother had kidney cancer they removed the kidney then started her 6 months later on Sutent she only took around 14 or 15 capsules before she starting to have side affects. On January 26 of 2011 she had problems moving her legs, that morning she was 100% perfect health. Her ona Oncologist had her brought to the hospital to be checked out she never left the hospital, on March 2, just a few weeks [Show More]My mother had kidney cancer they removed the kidney then started her 6 months later on Sutent she only took around 14 or 15 capsules before she starting to have side affects. On January 26 of 2011 she had problems moving her legs, that morning she was 100% perfect health. Her ona Oncologist had her brought to the hospital to be checked out she never left the hospital, on March 2, just a few weeks later she passed without anyone telling me to date what was wrong with her. I say the drug sutent killed her but nobody will talk to me.

  • TaraSeptember 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    My condolences to everyone that lost a loved one to these drugs! My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer early March, and they decided to put her on Nexavar. When my mother was on Nexavar, it seemed like she was getting even worse on the drug, even though the tumors in her liver were shrinking. My mother's last week, my mothers cancer spread to her lungs really fast, she passed away Augu[Show More]My condolences to everyone that lost a loved one to these drugs! My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer early March, and they decided to put her on Nexavar. When my mother was on Nexavar, it seemed like she was getting even worse on the drug, even though the tumors in her liver were shrinking. My mother's last week, my mothers cancer spread to her lungs really fast, she passed away August 14th. If my mother never used Nexavar, she would still be here! Can the families that had loved ones that used these drugs sue these companies?

  • lavishAugust 2, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Nexavar killed my mom

  • CarlaAugust 21, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    My husband had liver cancer. He got on Nexavar and two weeks later he died in his sleep. I know he probably would have died from liver disease but I think Nexavar contibuted to his earlier death.. He was not that bad and all of a sudden he died. I think it may have given him a heart attack

  • glenwoodJune 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

    My wife of the age of 41 died from the drug sutent side effects,i told the doctor who prescribe the drug to her that she is having problems with the drug,he still wanted her to be on it.She had bad sores that was in her mouth,she got to the point she could not move her legs.She was rush to the hospital,her entire lungs were infected.Ten days later she passed away.T he doctor told me that he should[Show More]My wife of the age of 41 died from the drug sutent side effects,i told the doctor who prescribe the drug to her that she is having problems with the drug,he still wanted her to be on it.She had bad sores that was in her mouth,she got to the point she could not move her legs.She was rush to the hospital,her entire lungs were infected.Ten days later she passed away.T he doctor told me that he should had taking her off the drug a lot sooner,and just looked at me and said that`s the nature of the beast,i felt like hitting him in the face.

  • PeterJanuary 20, 2013 at 5:09 am

    I tood Votrient for 1 1/2 years, The night we stopped is the night they taking Votrient they had to admited me into the Hospital My stomach was blowed and I couldn't not eat. I lost 80 lbs. in 1 1/2 months. I lost 5 pints of blood during this operation, I also had to have another Operation right after this one because my left leg went numb and they had to rush me to a Hospital in Gainesville flo[Show More]I tood Votrient for 1 1/2 years, The night we stopped is the night they taking Votrient they had to admited me into the Hospital My stomach was blowed and I couldn't not eat. I lost 80 lbs. in 1 1/2 months. I lost 5 pints of blood during this operation, I also had to have another Operation right after this one because my left leg went numb and they had to rush me to a Hospital in Gainesville florida to get a Vascular Surgeron to put in a stint. The only thing we can think of that caused the spleem to ruptured was the Votrient. Votrient causes wxsessive bleeding. I was in the Hospital for this reason for over a monht.

  • armymajwifeMay 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    My mother died while on Nexavar, but had been on sutent for several months prior to the switch. She passed away within weeks of the switch. Her complication was bleeding(probably due to sutent) and it couldn't be stopped even with surgery. I believe these drugs contributed to the death of my mother. Her tumors may have shrank very minimally , but became more numerous as well.

  • PeteMarch 11, 2012 at 3:59 am

    My wife and I believe that Votrient caused my spleen to rupture which also most kill me.

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