"Oct. 24, 2012 -- One of the oldest and cheapest drugs around may be highly effective against colon cancer, a new study shows.
Some of the most cutting-edge cancer therapies involve targeted treatments used in patients with specific gene mut"...
Severe drug induced liver injury with fatal outcome occurred in 0.3% of 1200 Stivarga-treated patients across all clinical trials. Liver biopsy results, when available, showed hepatocyte necrosis with lymphocyte infiltration. In Study 1, fatal hepatic failure occurred in 1.6% of patients in the regorafenib arm and in 0.4% of patients in the placebo arm; all the patients with hepatic failure had metastatic disease in the liver. In Study 2, fatal hepatic failure occurred in 0.8% of patients in the regorafenib arm [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Obtain liver function tests (ALT, AST and bilirubin) before initiation of Stivarga and monitor at least every two weeks during the first 2 months of treatment. Thereafter, monitor monthly or more frequently as clinically indicated. Monitor liver function tests weekly in patients experiencing elevated liver function tests until improvement to less than 3 times the ULN or baseline.
Temporarily hold and then reduce or permanently discontinue Stivarga depending on the severity and persistence of hepatotoxicity as manifested by elevated liver function tests or hepatocellular necrosis [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Stivarga caused an increased incidence of hemorrhage. The overall incidence (Grades 1-5) was 21% and 11% in Stivargatreated patients compared to 8% and 3% in placebo-treated patients in Studies 1 and 2. Fatal hemorrhage occurred in 4 of 632 (0.6%) of Stivarga-treated patients in Studies 1 and 2 and involved the respiratory, gastrointestinal, or genitourinary tracts.
Permanently discontinue Stivarga in patients with severe or life-threatening hemorrhage. Monitor INR levels more frequently in patients receiving warfarin [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Stivarga caused increased incidences of adverse reactions involving the skin and subcutaneous tissues (72% versus 24% in Study 1 and 78% versus 24% in Study 2), including hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) also known as palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE), and severe rash requiring dose modification.
The overall incidence of HFSR was higher in Stivarga-treated patients, (45% versus 7% in Study 1 and 67% versus 12% in Study 2), than in the placebo-treated patients. Most cases of HFSR in Stivarga-treated patients appeared during the first cycle of treatment (69% and 71% of patients who developed HFSR in Study 1 and Study 2, respectively). The incidence of Grade 3 HFSR (17% versus 0% in Study 1 and 22% versus 0% in Study 2), Grade 3 rash (6% versus < 1% in Study 1 and 7% versus 0% in Study 2), serious adverse reactions of erythema multiforme (0.2% vs. 0% in Study 1) and Stevens Johnson Syndrome (0.2% vs. 0% in Study 1) was higher in Stivarga-treated patients [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Toxic epidermal necrolysis occurred in 0.17% of 1200 Stivarga-treated patients across all clinical trials.
Withhold Stivarga, reduce the dose, or permanently discontinue Stivarga depending on the severity and persistence of dermatologic toxicity [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Institute supportive measures for symptomatic relief.
Stivarga caused an increased incidence of hypertension (30% versus 8% in Study 1 and 59% versus 27% in Study 2) [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Hypertensive crisis occurred in 0.25% of 1200 Stivarga-treated patients across all clinical trials. The onset of hypertension occurred during the first cycle of treatment in most patients who developed hypertension (72% in Study 1 and Study 2).
Do not initiate Stivarga unless blood pressure is adequately controlled. Monitor blood pressure weekly for the first 6 weeks of treatment and then every cycle, or more frequently, as clinically indicated. Temporarily or permanently withhold Stivarga for severe or uncontrolled hypertension [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Cardiac Ischemia and Infarction
Stivarga increased the incidence of myocardial ischemia and infarction in Study 1 (1.2% versus 0.4%) [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Withhold Stivarga in patients who develop new or acute onset cardiac ischemia or infarction. Resume Stivarga only after resolution of acute cardiac ischemic events, if the potential benefits outweigh the risks of further cardiac ischemia.
Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS)
Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS), a syndrome of subcortical vasogenic edema diagnosed by characteristic finding on MRI, occurred in one of 1200 Stivarga-treated patients across all clinical trials. Perform an evaluation for RPLS in any patient presenting with seizures, headache, visual disturbances, confusion or altered mental function. Discontinue Stivarga in patients who develop RPLS.
Gastrointestinal Perforation or Fistula
Gastrointestinal perforation or fistula occurred in 0.6% of 1200 patients treated with Stivarga across all clinical trials; this included four fatal events. In Study 2, 2.1 % (4/188) of Stivarga-treated patients who were treated during the blinded or open-label portion of the study developed gastrointestinal fistula or perforation; of these, two cases of gastrointestinal perforation were fatal. Permanently discontinue Stivarga in patients who develop gastrointestinal perforation or fistula.
Wound Healing Complications
No formal studies of the effect of regorafenib on wound healing have been conducted. Since vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitors such as regorafenib can impair wound healing, treatment with regorafenib should be stopped at least 2 weeks prior to scheduled surgery. The decision to resume regorafenib after surgery should be based on clinical judgment of adequate wound healing. Regorafenib should be discontinued in patients with wound dehiscence.
Stivarga can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Regorafenib was embryolethal and teratogenic in rats and rabbits at exposures lower than human exposures at the recommended dose, with increased incidences of cardiovascular, genitourinary, and skeletal malformations. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus [see Use In Specific Populations].
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-Approved Patient Labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
Inform your patients of the following:
- Stivarga may cause severe or life-threatening liver damage. Inform patients that they will need to undergo monitoring for liver damage and to immediately report any signs or symptoms of severe liver damage to their health care provider.
- Stivarga can cause severe bleeding. Advise patients to contact their health care provider for any episode of bleeding.
- Stivarga can cause hand-foot skin reactions or rash elsewhere. Advise patients to contact their health care provider if they experience skin changes associated with redness, pain, blisters, bleeding, or swelling.
- Stivarga can cause or exacerbate existing hypertension. Advise patients they will need to undergo blood pressure monitoring and to contact their health care provider if blood pressure is elevated or if symptoms from hypertension occur including severe headache, lightheadedness, or neurologic symptoms.
- Stivarga increased the risk for myocardial ischemia and infarction. Advise patients to seek immediate emergency help if they experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or feel dizzy or like passing out.
- Contact a healthcare provider immediately if they experience severe pains in their abdomen, persistent swelling of the abdomen, high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhea (frequent or loose bowel movements), or dehydration.
- Stivarga may complicate wound healing. Advise patients to inform their health care provider if they plan to undergo a surgical procedure or had recent surgery.
- Inform patients that regorafenib can cause fetal harm. Advise women of reproductive potential and men of the need for effective contraception during Stivarga treatment and for up to 2 months after completion of treatment. Instruct women of reproductive potential to immediately contact her health care provider if pregnancy is suspected or confirmed during or within 2 months of completing treatment with Stivarga.
- Advise nursing mothers that it is not known whether regorafenib is present in breast milk and discuss whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue regorafenib.
- Inform patients to take any missed dose on the same day, as soon as they remember, and that they must not take two doses on the same day to make up for a dose missed on the previous day.
- Inform patients to store medicine in the original container. Do not place medication in daily or weekly pill boxes. Any remaining tablets should be discarded 28 days after opening the bottle. Tightly close bottle after each opening and keep the desiccant in the bottle.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Studies examining the carcinogenic potential of regorafenib have not been conducted. Regorafenib itself did not demonstrate genotoxicity in in vitro or in vivo assays; however, a major human active metabolite of regorafenib, (M-2), was positive for clastogenicity, causing chromosome aberration in Chinese hamster V79 cells.
Dedicated studies to examine the effects of regorafenib on fertility have not been conducted; however, there were histological findings of tubular atrophy and degeneration in the testes, atrophy in the seminal vesicle, and cellular debris and oligospermia in the epididymides in male rats at doses similar to those in human at the clinical recommended dose based on AUC. In female rats, there were increased findings of necrotic corpora lutea in the ovaries at the same exposures. There were similar findings in dogs of both sexes in repeat dose studies at exposures approximately 83% of the human exposure at the recommended human dose based on AUC. These findings suggest that regorafenib may adversely affect fertility in humans.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Based on its mechanism of action, Stivarga can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with Stivarga in pregnant women. Regorafenib was embryolethal and teratogenic in rats and rabbits at exposures lower than human exposures at the recommended dose, with increased incidences of cardiovascular, genitourinary, and skeletal malformations. If this drug is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to a fetus.
In embryo-fetal development studies, a total loss of pregnancy (100% resorption of litter) was observed in rats at doses as low as 1 mg/kg (approximately 6% of the recommended human dose, based on body surface area) and in rabbits at doses as low as 1.6 mg/kg (approximately 25% of the human exposure at the clinically recommended dose measured by AUC).
In a single dose distribution study in pregnant rats, there was increased penetration of regorafenib across the blood-brain barrier in fetuses compared to dams. In a repeat dose study with daily administration of regorafenib to pregnant rats during organogenesis, findings included delayed ossification in fetuses at doses > 0.8 mg/kg (approximately 5% of the recommended human dose based on body surface area) with dose-dependent increases in skeletal malformations including cleft palate and enlarged fontanelle at doses ≥ 1 mg/kg (approximately 10% of the clinical exposure based on AUC). At doses ≥ 1.6 mg/kg (approximately 11% of the recommended human dose based on body surface area), there were dose-dependent increases in the incidence of cardiovascular malformations, external abnormalities, diaphragmatic hernia, and dilation of the renal pelvis.
In pregnant rabbits administered regorafenib daily during organogenesis, there were findings of ventricular septal defects evident at the lowest tested dose of 0.4 mg/kg (approximately 7% of the AUC in patients at the recommended dose). At doses of ≥ 0.8 mg/kg (approximately 15% of the human exposure at the recommended human dose based on AUC), administration of regorafenib resulted in dose-dependent increases in the incidence of additional cardiovascular malformations and skeletal anomalies as well as significant adverse effects on the urinary system including missing kidney/ureter; small, deformed and malpositioned kidney; and hydronephrosis. The proportion of viable fetuses that were male decreased with increasing dose in two rabbit embryo-fetal toxicity studies.
It is unknown whether regorafenib or its metabolites are excreted in human milk. In rats, regorafenib and its metabolites are excreted in milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Stivarga, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
The safety and efficacy of Stivarga in pediatric patients less than 18 years of age have not been established.
In 28-day repeat dose studies in rats there were dose-dependent findings of dentin alteration and angiectasis. These findings were observed at regorafenib doses as low as 4 mg/kg (approximately 25% of the AUC in humans at the recommended dose). In 13-week repeat dose studies in dogs there were similar findings of dentin alteration at doses as low as 20 mg/kg (approximately 43% of the AUC in humans at the recommended dose). Administration of regorafenib in these animals also led to persistent growth and thickening of the femoral epiphyseal growth plate.
Of the 632 Stivarga-treated patients enrolled in Studies 1 and 2, 37% were 65 years of age or older and over, while 8% were 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between these patients and younger patients.
No clinically important differences in the mean exposure of regorafenib or the active metabolites M-2 and M-5 were observed in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and mild (Child-Pugh A) or moderate (Child-Pugh B) hepatic impairment compared to patients with normal hepatic function [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. No dose adjustment is recommended in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment. Closely monitor patients with hepatic impairment for adverse reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Stivarga is not recommended for use in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C), as it has not been studied in this population.
No clinically relevant differences in the mean exposure of regorafenib and the active metabolites M-2 and M-5 were observed in patients with mild renal impairment (CLcr 60-89 mL/min) compared to patients with normal renal function following regorafenib 160 mg daily for 21 days [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. No dose adjustment is recommended for patients with mild renal impairment. Limited pharmacokinetic data are available from patients with moderate renal impairment (CLcr 30-59 mL/min). Stivarga has not been studied in patients with severe renal impairment or end-stage renal disease.
Females and Males of Reproductive Potential
Use effective contraception during treatment and up to 2 months after completion of therapy.
There are no data on the effect of Stivarga on human fertility. Results from animal studies indicate that regorafenib can impair male and female fertility [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/7/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Stivarga Information
- Stivarga Drug Interactions Center: regorafenib oral
- Stivarga Side Effects Center
- Stivarga FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get the latest treatment options.