How cancer cells may spread

How cancer cells may spread

pre surgery


Renal cell carcinoma is a cancer that is often treated with surgery. The goal of surgery is to physically remove all of the tumor. To do this, the surgeon may take out all or part of the kidney.
pre surgery


No matter how much of the kidney is removed, there is a risk that some cancer cells remain in the the body. These cancer cells are too small to be detected.
pre surgery


The unseen cancer cells may move to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.

When cancer cells spread

vessel growth


New blood vessels are needed to give these unseen cancer cells a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. When this happens, cancer cells can turn into tumors.


Animal and laboratory studies suggest that SUTENT blocks new blood vessels from forming. This may prevent unseen cancer cells from turning into tumors.

*SUTENT is used to treat adults with kidney cancer that has not spread (localized) and who are at high risk of RCC coming back again after having kidney surgery.

It is not known if SUTENT is safe or effective in children.

In clinical trials, SUTENT was shown to help slow the spread of cancer. SUTENT may also help shrink some tumors. SUTENT is not a cure, may not work the same way in every person, and not all patients will experience the same results.

Animal studies suggest that SUTENT works by blocking 2 processes that help these kinds of cancers grow and spread: proliferation and angiogenesis.

SUTENT blocks proliferation

Proliferation occurs when a cell divides to make more cells. These cells are the same size and shape in most organs of the body. Cancer cells also proliferate but at a much higher rate. Cancer cells grow in abnormal shapes.

proliferation proliferation

SUTENT blocks angiogenesis

Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels. This occurs in healthy organs. When angiogenesis occurs in tumors, these blood
vessels are abnormal and contribute to tumor growth.

proliferation proliferation

SUTENT is used to treat advanced kidney cancer (advanced renal cell carcinoma or RCC).

SUTENT is used to treat a rare cancer of the stomach, bowel, or esophagus called gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and when you have taken the medicine imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®) and it did not stop the cancer from growing or you cannot take imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®). Gleevec is a registered trademark of Novartis AG.

§SUTENT is used to treat a type of pancreatic cancer known as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) that has progressed and cannot be treated with surgery.

It is not known if SUTENT is safe or effective in children.

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