Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
Generic Name: Temsirolimus
CCI-779 is another name for the trade name chemotherapy
Torisel and the generic drug
In some cases, health care professionals may use Torisel or Temsirolimus
when referring to the drug name
CCI-779 is a
targeted therapy. It is classified as a mTOR inhibitor.
What CCI-779 Is Used For:
CCI-779 is used for the treatment of advanced
renal cell cancer.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians
may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
How CCI-779 Is Given:
given as an injection into the vein (intravenous, IV). The amount of
that you will receive will be prescribed by your doctor based on established
Side Effects of CCI-779:
Important things to
remember about the side effects of CCI-779:
- Most people do
not experience all of the CCI-779
side effects listed.
are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.
are almost always reversible and will go away after treatment is complete.
- There are many
options to help minimize or prevent side effects.
The following side effects are common (occurring in
greater than 30%) for patients taking CCI-779:
These are less common (occurring in about 10-29%) side
effects for patients receiving CCI-779:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling in legs
- Low potassium
- Abdominal pain
- Taste disturbance
- Back pain
- Weight loss
- Low white blood
- Generalized aches
- Chest pain
- nail disorder/thinning
- Nose bleed
- Sore throat
- Dry skin
This list includes common and less common side effects
for those taking CCI-779.
Side effects that are very rare -- occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients
-- are not listed here. But you should always inform your health care provider if
you experience any unusual symptoms.
When To Contact Your Doctor or Health Care Provider:
Contact your health care provider immediately, day or night, if you should experience
any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher, chills (signs
of possible infection).
The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact
your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:
- Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
- Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
- Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
- Constipation unrelieved by laxative use
- New or worsening abdominal pain
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black or tarry stools, or blood in your stools
- Blood in the urine
- Signs of infection such as redness or swelling, pain on swallowing, coughing up
mucous, or painful urination
- Extreme fatigue (unable to carry on self-care activities)
- Mouth sores (painful redness, swelling or ulcers)
- Unable to eat or drink for 24 hours or have signs of dehydration: tiredness, thirst,
dry mouth, dark and decrease amount of urine, or dizziness
Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.
- Before starting treatment, make sure you tell your
doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription,
over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).
Do not take aspirin, products containing aspirin unless your doctor specifically
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice (may increase
the levels/adverse effects of CCI-779).
- Do not receive any kind of immunization or vaccination
without your doctor’s approval while taking
CCI-779. Avoid close contact with recently vaccinated
(live vaccine) individuals.
- Inform your health care professional if you are
pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting
CCI-779. Pregnancy category D (CCI-779 may be hazardous
to the fetus. Women who are pregnant or become pregnant must be advised of the potential
hazard to the fetus).
- For both men and women: Use contraceptives, and
do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking
CCI-779. Barrier methods of contraception, such
as condoms, are recommended.
- Do not breast feed while taking this medication.
CCI-779 Self-Care Tips:
- Drink 2 to 3 quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you were told to restrict your
fluid intake, and maintain good nutrition. This will decrease your chances of being
constipated, and prevent dehydration.
- You may be at risk of infection so try to avoid
crowds or people with colds, and report fever or any other signs of infection immediately
to your health care provider.
- Wash your hands often.
- To help treat/prevent mouth sores, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse three times
a day with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of water.
- Use an electric razor and a soft toothbrush to minimize bleeding.
- Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury.
- To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and
eat small, frequent meals.
- Follow regimen of anti-diarrhea medication as prescribed by your health care professional.
- Eat foods that may help reduce diarrhea (see
managing side effects - diarrhea).
- Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 15 (or higher) sun block and protective clothing.
- In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided
completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Maintain good nutrition.
- If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health
care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are
effective in managing such problems.
Monitoring and Testing While Taking CCI-779:
You will be checked regularly by your health care professional
while you are taking this drug, to monitor side effects and check your response
to therapy. Periodic blood work to monitor your complete blood count (CBC) as well
as the function of other organs (such as your kidneys and liver) will also be ordered
by your doctor.
How CCI-779 Works:
Targeted therapy is the result of about 100 years of research dedicated
to understanding the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. To
date, cancer treatment has focused primarily on killing rapidly dividing cells because
one feature of cancer cells is that they divide rapidly. Unfortunately, some
of our normal cells divide rapidly too, causing multiple side effects.
Targeted therapy is about identifying other features
of cancer cells. Scientists look for specific differences in the cancer cells
and the normal cells. This information is used to create a targeted therapy
to attack the cancer cells without damaging the normal cells, thus leading to fewer
side effects. Each type of targeted therapy works a little bit differently
but all interfere with the ability of the cancer cell to grow, divide, repair and/or
communicate with other cells.
There are different types of targeted therapies, defined
in three broad categories. Some targeted therapies focus on the internal components
and function of the cancer cell. The targeted therapies use small molecules
that can get into the cell and disrupt the function of the cells, causing them to
die. There are several types of targeted therapy that focus on the inner parts
of the cells. Other targeted therapies target receptors that are on
the outside of the cell. Antiangiogenesis inhibitors target the
blood vessels that supply oxygen to the cells, ultimately causing the cells to starve.
Research continues to
identify which cancers may be best treated with targeted therapies and to identify
additional targets for more types of cancer.
Torisel is an inhibitor of mTOR. mTOR inibition
blocks the translation of genes that regulate cancer cell proliferation. It
also results in reduced levels of certain cell growth factors involved in the development
of new blood vessels, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with
your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments.
The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational,
but is not a substitute for medical advice.
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