A study published in the Journal of Hematology Oncology Pharmacy suggests that a reduced starting dose of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) medicine may have similar effectiveness and be easier to tolerate compared to the full starting dose in patients with metastatic kidney cancer.

The study looked at data from patients being treated with TKIs for metastatic kidney cancer and put the patients into two groups; those on the full starting dose and those who were on a reduced starting dose. There were 42 patients in the study, a third of which started with the full dose and two thirds started with a reduced dose of TKI medicine. The medicines given were mostly pazopanib or sunitinib.

Average overall survival time was no different between the two groups (20.1 months in the reduced-dose group and 25 months in the full-dose group). The reduced dose of TKI was easier to tolerate, with side effects causing 11.1% of discontinuations in the reduced-dose group and 36.8% of discontinuations in the full-dose group. Disease progression was a reason for stopping the treatment for 77.8% of patients in the reduced-dose group and 31.6% of patients in the full-dose group and.

This study shows that a reduced starting dose of TKI improves the tolerability of the medicine without affecting its effectiveness.

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