Hypertension and VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition: Effects on Renal Function
VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors have become first-line therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Their use commonly leads to hypertension, but their effects on long-term renal function are not known. In addition, it has been suggested that the development of hypertension is linked to treatment efficacy. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of these drugs on long-term renal function, especially in those with renal dysfunction at baseline, and to examine the role of hypertension on these effects. Serum creatinine measurements were used to calculate the estimated glomerular filtration rate for 130 renal cell carcinoma patients who were treated with this class of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. New or worsening hypertension was defined by documented start or addition of antihypertensive medications. Overall, the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with estimated glomerular filtration <60 or ≥60 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) was not associated with a decline in long-term renal function. During follow-up, 41 patients developed new or worsening hypertension within 30 days from first drug administration, and this was not linked to further reductions in glomerular filtration. These patients seemed to survive longer than those who did not develop hypertension within 30 days, although this was not statistically significant (P=0.07). Our findings suggest that the use of VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitors does not adversely affect long-term renal function even in the setting of new-onset hypertension or reduced renal function at baseline.