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Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2005 Nov;5 Suppl 2:S81-8.

Recent data with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibodies and irinotecan in colon cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Royal Marsden Hospital, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5PT, UK.


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in the majority of colorectal cancers. It is the target for a class of agents at the forefront of development for the treatment of colorectal cancer, ie, the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies, which include cetuximab, panitumumab, and matuzumab. At present, cetuximab is the furthest along in terms of established efficacy in the treatment of metastatic or inoperable disease and is licensed for the treatment of patients with irinotecan-refractory colorectal cancer. This article reviews the recent evidence supporting the combination of these anti-EGFR agents with the cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent irinotecan.

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