Management of metastatic colorectal cancer has evolved in the last 10 years, with the availability of targeted therapies resulting in improvement in quality of life and overall survival. Cetuximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody that binds to the EGF receptor, and the net effects are inhibition of tumor growth, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis. Cetuximab binding to the EGF receptor is also known to augment the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Only tumors expressing wild-type KRAS respond to cetuximab and improvements in progression-free survival and overall survival are seen, whereas patients with mutant KRAS are considered to be resistant. Cetuximab is currently available worldwide for use as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy in first-, second- or third-line settings in metastatic colorectal cancer patients with wild-type KRAS.
- EGF receptor inhibitors
- metastatic colorectal cancer