Cetuximab, Erbitux

Cetuximab, Erbitux

This patient-friendly article is about chemotherapy drug, Cetuximab (Erbitux), which is an epidermal growth factor inhibitor (EGFR inhibitor) used to treat metastatic cancer of the colon and rectum and also cancers of the head and neck.

It is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiotherapy as it may make cancer cells more sensitive to those treatments.

For example, for bowel cancers it is commonly given with Irinotecan. Monoclonal antibodies are a type of drug which recognise certain proteins found on the surface of some types of cancer cells. Once the monoclonal antibody recognises the protein it attaches itself to it, and this is thought to then trigger the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells and cause the cells to destroy themselves. They cause little damage to normal cells. It is administered intravenously, generally weekly, or every day for a week, then a week off.

Side effects: (generally mild) can include: tiredness, flu-like symptoms, allergic reactions, skin changes, nausea, diarrhoea, fever, conjunctivitis.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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 It is manufactured by Eli Lilley and was approved by the FDA in 2009.

 It is also approved for K-RAS wild type colorectal cancer.




Go to: 10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

Go to: Return to the CANCERactive drug list

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