Everolimus shoots two very different birds with one stone; cancer cells and coronary stents


In 2009 a new anti-cancer drug, Everolimus, was approved in the US and Europe specifically for use in patients with advanced kidney cancer who were unresponsive to the standard chemotherapy regimen. As a kinase inhibitor, Everolimus effectively inhibits cancer cells from dividing. Since then, the use of Everolimus has extended to treatment of subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and other neoplasms. It has also gained acceptance as an orally administered drug to prevent transplant rejection. Evidence for this indication has been presented by Dr. Ron Shapiro wherein high-dose Everolimus improved graft survival in renal transplantation.

everolimusRecently, other applications for Everolimus have entered the world of interventional cardiology in the form of additives in coronary artery stents. Data from the SPIRIT III trial, published on January 2011, found that Everolimus-eluting stents were superior in terms of safety and efficacy compared to first-generation drug-eluting stents. Everolimus is now currently used in the popular XIENCE V® and XIENCE nano™ drug-eluting stents. Furthermore, the PLATINUM trial presented during the American College of Cardiology 2011 Scientific Sessions, using platinum as the new alloy base for the stent, added more evidence favoring the use of Everolimus in stents even when using non-chromium-cobalt based stents.

From cancer to interventional cardiology, the efficacy of Everolimus has been established. Since this drug was able to find use in two very different fields of medicine, the potential use of  Everolimus for other indications does not seem like a farfetched idea at all.

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