Medication Monitor

Generic Name (Trade Name—Company)
May 1, 2011


Treatment of medullary thyroid cancer


Treatment of medullary thyroid cancer in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic disease

Vandetanib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is thought to work by inhibiting the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway, epidermal growth factor receptor, and rearranged during transfection pathways. FDA approval of vandetanib for patients with advanced medullary thyroid cancer was based on results of the Phase III ZETA study. The trial showed that patients given vandetanib 300 mg daily (n = 231) had a significant improvement in progression-free survival compared with the 100 patients given placebo (22.6 vs. 16.4 mo). Because of its potential to cause torsades de pointes and sudden death, only prescribers and pharmacists certified with the vandetanib Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy program can prescribe and dispense the drug, respectively.