Cetuximab is an investigational IgG1 monoclonal antibody designed to target and block the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), which is expressed on the surface of certain cancer cells in multiple tumor types. Cetuximab is designed to bind to EGFR and prevent natural ligands called growth factors from binding to the receptor and inducing phosphorylation, i.e., activation of signaling to the tumor. The most common drug-related adverse events reported in clinical trials of cetuximab have been an acne-like rash and asthenia. Severe allergic reactions may occur in a small percentage of patients.
Proteogenomic studies may provide a better understanding of how to match cancer patients with an effective treatment for their specific cancer.
Researchers from SWOG Cancer Research Network, a cancer clinical trials group funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have shown that a triple drug combination - of irinotecan, cetuximab, and vemurafenib - is a more powerful tumor fighter and keeps people with metastatic colon cancer disease free for a significantly longer period of time compared with patients treated with irinotecan and cetuximab.