Subject: Raised BP whilst on Sutent
I am aware that having a raised BP points to the efficacy of Sutent but I was wondering if anyone knew if a raised BP should always be treated or if keeping it raised somehow contributes to the benefit of Sutent? Has anyone ever been told this?
The "natural targets" of Sutent are not only your GIST cells, but also cells that regulate your blood pressure. This is why high blood pressure is an adverse effect of Sutent. The reason that high blood pressure correlates with response to (GIST) therapy is that Sutent has this dual action. The high blood pressure itself, however, does not do anything to your GIST (at least not that we know of).
One might explain it like this: If there is enough Sutent in your system to give you high blood pressure, there is enough in your system to treat your GIST. Again, the actual fact that the blood pressure is high has nothing to do with how well your GIST cells respond to the therapy.
Please do treat your high blood pressure as this can be dangerous, even when you are young and not overweight (although it is a bit less dangerous than if you were older and/or overweight...).
Anette University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute