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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Dec 20;23(36):9089-96. Epub 2005 Nov 21.

Phase I/IIa study of cetuximab with gemcitabine plus carboplatin in patients with chemotherapy-naive advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

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University of Alabama at Birmingham, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL 35294-3300, USA.



This multicenter, open-label, phase I/IIa study was undertaken to establish the safety/toxicity profile of cetuximab in combination with gemcitabine and carboplatin in patients with chemotherapy-naïve, epidermal growth factor receptor-positive, stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer. Secondary objectives were to gather preliminary evidence of efficacy including tumor response rate, time to progression, and overall survival.


Thirty-five patients received a total of 264 3-week cycles of treatment with cetuximab, carboplatin, and gemcitabine. An initial dose of cetuximab 400 mg/m2 intravenously was administered the first week, followed by weekly doses of 250 mg/m2. Carboplatin (area under the curve = 5, day 1) and gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 were administered every 3 weeks. Patients were evaluated for tumor response after every two cycles of therapy.


The most frequently reported adverse events related to cetuximab included an acne-like rash (88.6%), dry skin (34.3%), asthenia and skin disorders (31.4%), mucositis/stomatitis (25.7%), fever/chills (20%), and nausea/vomiting (17.1%). The majority of these toxicities were mild to moderate. One patient withdrew from the study because of a grade 3 allergic reaction. Myelosuppression was the most frequently observed toxicity related to chemotherapy. Responses among 35 assessable patients included 10 partial responses (28.6%). Twenty-one patients had stable disease. The median time to progression was 165 days, and the median overall survival was 310 days.


The combination of cetuximab, carboplatin, and gemcitabine was well tolerated with an acceptable toxicity profile. Most grade 3 adverse events were attributable to chemotherapy. The response rate and median survival are encouraging and warrant additional investigation.

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