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Lung Cancer. 2011 Jan;71(1):55-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2010.04.010. Epub 2010 May 7.

A phase I study of nimotuzumab in combination with radiotherapy in stages IIB-IV non-small cell lung cancer unsuitable for radical therapy: Korean results.

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Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



This study was undertaken to determine safety and tolerability of nimotuzumab, a humanized anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody, in combination with radiotherapy in stages IIB-IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who are unsuitable for radical therapy or chemotherapy.


Nimotuzumab (100mg, 200mg and 400mg) was administered weekly from week 1 to week 8 with palliative radiotherapy (30-36 Gy, 3 Gy/day). If tumor control was achieved, nimotuzumab was continued every 2 weeks until unacceptable toxicity or disease progression. Serial skin biopsies were collected for pharmacodynamic assessment.


Fifteen patients were enrolled in the study, with cohorts of five patients assigned in each dose level of nimotuzumab. Patients and disease characteristics included median age 73 years; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (PS) 0-1/2 (n=3/12); female sex (n=2); adenocarcinoma (n=5); never-smoker status (n=2); and stages IIB/IIIB/IV (n=1/8/6). All patients were unable to tolerate radical therapy because of old age or multiple comorbidities. The most commonly reported adverse events were lymphopenia and asthenia (grades 1-2 in most patients). No skin rash or allergic toxicities appeared. Dose-limiting toxicity occurred with pneumonia with grade 4 neutropenia at the 200mg dose of nimotuzumab. Objective response rate and disease control rate inside the radiation field were 46.7% and 100.0%, respectively.


Nimotuzumab in combination with radiotherapy is well-tolerated and feasible. Further clinical investigation of nimotuzumab in NSCLC patients is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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