A preclinical review of sunitinib, a multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor with anti-angiogenic and antitumour activities
Sunitinib malate is an oral, multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets both angiogenic pathways (i.e., vascular endothelial growth factor receptor and platelet-derived growth factor receptor) and direct pro-oncogenic pathways (e.g., stem-cell factor receptor and FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3). Preclinical studies with this agent have indicated that it exhibits robust inhibitory activity against these targets. Clinical trial results have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of this agent and have implicated sunitinib targets in the pathophysiology of malignancies such as renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumour. This paper reviews the preclinical data supporting the development of this agent and its translation from benchtop to bedside. It also highlights the importance of the multiple pathways that may be involved in cancer progression and the importance of these pathways in selected malignancies.