Based on earlier studies, cetuximab is now indicated for treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer whose tumors do not have a mutation in the KRAS gene. KRAS is one of a series of genes along a pathway that can lead tumors cells to grow, divide and evade signals that shut the cells down causing their death.
Based on the results in advanced disease, researchers had hoped to see similar benefits when cetuximab was added to a standard chemotherapy regimen in earlier stages of colon cancer. However, ongoing analysis during the clinical trial found that patients receiving the combination therapy had no significant improvement in survival compared to standard therapy.
Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) – a cell signaling pathway that contributes to tumor growth. The drug is given by intravenous infusion for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer. Previously, researchers found that patients with a mutated KRAS gene – about 40 percent of those with metastatic colon cancer – do not respond to the EGFR inhibitors currently in use.
However, the genetic test for KRAS mutation was not standard until this trial was well underway. Patients enrolled before KRAS testing were segmented from those in the rest of the study and analyzed separately, said Richard Goldberg, MD, chief of the division of hematology/oncology at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, who presented the results for this group of patients.
“We expected that patients with the genetic mutation would not respond to cetuximab, and that is what we found,” said Goldberg, who is also physician-in-chief of the N.C. Cancer Hospital.
“However, even the patients in the study whose tumors did not harbor the KRAS mutation did not benefit significantly from the combination therapy and the standard treatment proved to have the best results. We also found that the combination therapy was more toxic and the side effects of treatment – especially in older patients – negatively impacted their ability to complete the standard treatment,” he added.
The researchers issued a recommendation that cetuximab should not be used in patients with stage III colon cancer. It remains a valuable tool in treating patients with advanced colorectal cancers whose tumors do not harbor a KRAS mutation and can either be administered as a single agent or with chemotherapy.UNC Lineberger Cancer Center contact:
Ellen de Graffenreid | EurekAlert!
NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University
How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine