If you have a certain type of liver, kidney, or thyroid cancer, your healthcare provider may prescribe Nexavar. This medication comes in the form of a tablet and is taken twice a day on an empty stomach. It works by blocking certain proteins in the body that the cancer cells need to grow and multiply. Possible side effects include fatigue, diarrhea, and weight loss.
What Is Nexavar?Nexavar® (sorafenib) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following types of cancer:
- A type of liver cancer known medically as hepatocellular carcinoma that cannot be treated with surgery
- A type of kidney cancer known as renal cell carcinoma that has spread beyond the kidneys.
- A type of thyroid cancer known as differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) that is resistant to radioactive iodine treatment.
Who Makes This Medication?Nexavar is made by Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does It Work?Nexavar belongs to a class of medications known as multikinase inhibitors. It works by blocking the action of kinases, which are proteins in the body that cause cells (including cancer cells) to grow and multiply. By blocking signals that kinases send to cells telling them to grow, Nexavar helps slow down the progression of cancer.
Clinical Effects of NexavarIn a clinical study, Nexavar slowed down the growth and spread of cancer in people with advanced kidney cancer. In this study, kidney cancer did not get worse for an average of 5.5 months in people who took the drug, compared with 2.8 months in people who did not take it.
Nexavar has also been shown to slow down the growth of liver cancer and extend survival in people with it. In a clinical study, people given the drug survived, on average, 10.7 months on treatment, compared with 7.9 months for people not given Nexavar.
Another clinical study showed a slowed growth of thyroid cancer. People taking Nexavar survived an average of 10.8 months with no progression (without the cancer getting worse), compared to 5.8 months for those not taking the drug.