Jump to content

Erbitux® in Addition to Chemotherapy for Advanced Non-Small

Recommended Posts

Cell Lung Cancer


According to results published in a recent online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the addition of the monoclonal antibody Erbitux® (cetuximab) to chemotherapy appears well tolerated and improves outcomes for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Future trials are necessary to determine the true benefit of adding Erbitux to standard therapy for this disease.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the US. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for 75%-80% of all lung cancers. Survival for patients with advanced lung cancer is poor; less than 10% of patients are expected to survive for five years or longer.

Initial treatment of advanced NSCLC often involves a platinum-based chemotherapy regimen. In an attempt to reduce toxic effects of treatment while maintaining or even increasing effectiveness, researchers are evaluating alternative treatment options to use independently or in addition to chemotherapy.

Erbitux is a monoclonal antibody that is currently FDA approved for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer; it is approved as a single agent or in combination with the chemotherapy agent Camptosar® (irinotecan). Erbitux has been designed to bind to a specific site on cancer cells that is involved in cellular replication —the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

Researchers from multiple institutions recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the addition of Erbitux to the commonly used chemotherapy combination carboplatin (Paraplatin®) and paclitaxel (Taxol®). This trial included 31 patients with stage IV NSCLC who had not received prior treatment. The following results were observed:

Shrinking of the cancer occurred in 26% of patients.

The median time to cancer progression was 5 months.

The median survival was 11 months.

Survival at 1 year was 40%; survival at 2 years was 16%.

The addition of Erbitux was well tolerated; the most common associated side effect was rash.

The researchers concluded that the addition of Erbitux to carboplatin/paclitaxel appears well tolerated and effective in the treatment of advanced NSCLC. The authors state that the results appear superior to historical data evaluating carboplatin/paclitaxel only in patients with this stage of disease; future clinical trials further evaluating this new treatment regimen are underway. Furthermore, patients with specific EGFR mutations may achieve greater benefit from the addition of Erbitux.

Patients with stage IV NSCLC may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial further evaluating Erbitux or other novel therapeutic approaches. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov) and www.cancerconsultants.com.

Reference: Thienelt C, Bunn P, Hanna N, et al. Multicenter Phase I/II Study of Cetuximab With Paclitaxel and Carboplatin in Untreated Patients With Stage IV Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2005. Published on-line ahead of print October 24, 2004. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2005.03.1997.

Related News: Genomic Test for EGFR for Patients with Lung Cancer

© 1998-2005 CancerConsultants.com All Rights Reserved.

These materials may discuss uses and dosages for therapeutic products that have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. All readers should verify all information and data before administering any drug, therapy or treatment discussed herein. Neither the editors nor the publisher accepts any responsibility for the accuracy of the information or consequences from the use or misuse of the information contained herein.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.