The drug cetuximab, a promising new targeted therapy better known as Erbitux, offers another option for patients who have colorectal cancer that resists standard chemotherapy treatment, according to an editorial written by two Mayo Clinic cancer researchers that will be published in the July 22 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
The editorial is co-authored by Mayo Clinic’s Charles Erlichman, M.D., chair of the Department of Oncology and a specialist in the research and treatment of colorectal cancer, and Daniel Sargent, Ph.D., director of Cancer Center Statistics.
The editorial comments on a phase 2 randomized, three-year study that compared cetuximab combined with irinotecan, a standard chemotherapy regimen, to cetuximab alone in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer that is resistant to treatment with irinotecan. The study was led by David Cunningham, M.D., Royal Marsden Hospital, London and Surrey, in the United Kingdom, and its results will be published in the same issue of NEJM.
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