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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Temsirolimus (Torisel®)


Brand Name: Torisel®

Temsirolimus is used to treat renal cell carcinoma (RCC, a type of kidney cancer).

Temsirolimus belongs in a class of agents called kinase inhibitors. Kinases are enzymes that have many functions inside a cell, including sending a signal to multiply. Temsirolimus blocks the activity of kinases, which stops or slows the growth of cancer.

This medication comes as a solution that is given as a slow injection into a vein (intravenous infusion). Each injection usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes. Temsirolimus is usually given once per week. The exact dose and duration of treatment may vary depending on several factors, including the type of cancer being treated, how well the medication is working, how well your body is tolerating the drug, and what other medications you are taking. Your doctor will recommend the approach that is best for you.

Temsirolimus side effects

To prevent problematic interactions between temsirolimus and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had a liver tumor, liver or kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding. Temsirolimus should not be taken during breastfeeding. If you have surgery and/or dental work during treatment, be sure to tell your doctor and/or dentist that you are taking temsirolimus.

Be careful to wash hands frequently and avoid contact with people who are sick to minimize your risk of infection.

Possible side effects may include:

  • Weakness
  • Swelling of the eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Headache
  • Itchy, watery, or red eyes
  • Changes in sense of taste
  • Mouth or throat sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain or burning during urination, blood in urine, frequent need to urinate
  • Muscle, joint, or back pain
  • Dry or pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Acne
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression

Some of temsirolimus’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Hives, rash, itching
  • Sore throat, fever, chills or other signs of infection
  • Extreme hunger or thirst
  • Swelling, pain, tenderness or redness in the legs
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Red blood in stools
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Weakness or numbness in one arm or leg
  • New or worsening abdominal pain

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of temsirolimus with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment plan.

Temsirolimus for cancer treatment

Temsirolimus is approved for the following cancer treatment:

  • Advanced renal cell carcinoma

At CTCA, our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Cancer Treatment Centers of America assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill. Also note that while Cancer Treatment Centers of America frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.