Hepatotoxicity with Vismodegib: An MD Anderson Cancer Center and Research on Adverse Drug Events and Reports Project

Beatrice J. Edwards*, Dennis W. Raisch, Smita S. Saraykar, Ming Sun, Josh A. Hammel, Hai T. Tran, Nathaniel Wehr, Rasha Arabyat, Dennis P. West

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: On 30 January 2012, the US FDA approved vismodegib (Erivedge®, Genentech, CA, USA) for the management of both metastatic and locally advanced basal cell carcinoma. Objective: Our objective was to identify evidence of hepatotoxicity with vismodegib in the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) in treated patients in two National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Methods: FAERS was searched for reports dated 1 January 2009 through 31 December 2015 using terms including hedgehog pathway and vismodegib and hepatic-related terms such as liver, jaundice, and hepatitis, among others. Disproportionality analyses with estimates of proportional reporting ratio and empirical Bayesian geometric mean were conducted. A comprehensive literature review was conducted, and the clinical databases at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University were searched. Results: Two cases of severe liver dysfunction were published (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events [CTCAE] class III), and 94 reports of adverse events (AEs) were detected in FAERS, 35 of which were serious AEs. Safety notifications related to hepatotoxicity have not been issued by the manufacturer or the FDA, although vismodegib is listed in LiverTox and the European Medicines Agency website. Conclusion: We identified a detectable safety signal for hepatotoxicity for vismodegib within 4 years of FDA approval. Vismodegib should be used in patients with severe liver disease only after careful consideration, and concomitant hepatotoxic medications should be avoided. Rapid dissemination of such safety concerns is expected to result in fewer serious hepatotoxic AEs and more optimal outcomes for patients with cancer receiving vismodegib.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalDrugs in R and D
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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