Generic Name: cetuximab

Pronunciation: N/A

Abbreviation: N/A

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Targeted Therapy Medications

Company: Eli Lilly

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: No

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Erbitux is an EGFR inhibitor approved for treatment of advanced or metastatic head and neck cancer and EGFR-positive metastatic colorectal cancer without KRAS mutations.

General Info

Erbitux is a monoclonal antibody that binds to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is overexpressed in certain cancers and plays a role in cell growth and development of blood vessels that feed tumors.

The BONNER and EXTREME trials showed that Erbitux delays disease progression and improves survival in people with locally advanced or metastatic head and neck cancer. The CRYSTAL and BOND trials showed Erbitux plus chemotherapy improves response in people with EGFR-expressing colorectal cancer, but it does not work for those with KRAS mutations. It was first approved in 2004.


Dosing Info:

Erbitux is given by intravenous infusion. It may be used alone or in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Side Effects

Common side effects include skin rash, nail changes, itching, headache and diarrhea. Potential serious side effects may include heart and lung problems, severe skin reactions and metabolic abnormalities. It may increase tumor progression in colorectal cancer patients with KRAS mutations. The Erbitux label includes a warning about severe infusion reactions and risk of cardiac arrest. Erbitux may cause fetal harm if used during pregnancy.

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Last Reviewed: December 16, 2018