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

  • Written by: Staff Writers

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.

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.

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  1. Pete Reply

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

  2. armymajwife Reply

    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.

  3. Peter Reply

    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.

  4. glenwood Reply

    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.

  5. Carla Reply

    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

  6. lavish Reply

    Nexavar killed my mom

  7. Tara Reply

    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?

  8. Anthony Reply

    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.

  9. Cameron Reply

    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

  10. JEANNE Reply


  11. Kyndra Reply

    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.

  12. Tim Reply

    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.

  13. Mark Reply

    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

  14. Jason Reply

    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 .

  15. Jessica Reply

    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!

  16. MELISSA Reply

    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

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