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Target Oncol. 2015 Mar;10(1):125-33. doi: 10.1007/s11523-014-0322-0. Epub 2014 May 27.

Early skin toxicity predicts better outcomes, and early tumor shrinkage predicts better response after cetuximab treatment in advanced colorectal cancer.

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Department of Medical Oncology, KKR Sapporo Medical Center Tonan Hospital, Kita1-Nishi6, Chu-ou-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060-0001, Japan,


Cetuximab-containing treatments for metastatic colorectal cancer have been shown to have higher overall response rates and longer progression-free and overall survival than other systemic therapies. Cetuximab-related manifestations, including severe skin toxicity and early tumor shrinkage, have been shown to be predictors of response to cetuximab. We hypothesized that early skin toxicity is a predictor of response and better outcomes in patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma. We retrospectively evaluated 62 patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma who had unresectable tumors and were treated with cetuximab in our institution. Skin toxicity grade was evaluated on each treatment day. Tumor size was evaluated using computed tomography prior to treatment and 4-8 weeks after the start of treatment with cetuximab.Patients with early tumor shrinkage after starting treatment with cetuximab had a significantly higher overall response rate (P = 0.0001). Patients with early skin toxicity showed significantly longer overall survival (P = 0.0305), and patients with higher skin toxicity grades had longer progression-free survival (P = 0.0168).We have shown that early tumor shrinkage, early onset of skin toxicity, and high skin toxicity grade are predictors of treatment efficacy and/or outcome in patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma treated with cetuximab.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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