Tag Archives: Vectibix

First-Line Treatment Approved for Stage IV Colorectal Cancer

There is new first-line treatment (standard of care to start treatment) giving as many as 60% of the stage IV colorectal cancer patients more options for treatment. Previously, most stage IV patients undergoing chemotherapy would be recommended to go on FOLFOX and bevacizumab (Avastin). Patients would receive this first set of drugs (called first-line) and if the cancer continued to grow, then other treatment options would be explored. Recently, the FDA approved an additional drug to be used as a first-line option for some stage IV patients. But this is for a specific set of patients based on their tumor gene type, known as biomarker. The new targeted therapy panitumumab

Erbitux Approved as First-Line Treatment

The FDA has approved Erbitux™ (cetuximab) in combination with FOLFIRI for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer whose tumors have a wild-type (WT) KRAS gene.  Erbitux was first approved in 2004 for patients whose cancer was not responding to available treatments. FDA’s action was prompted by results from a look back at patient outcomes and KRAS status from three trials: CRYSTAL:  phase 3, 1217 patients newly diagnosed with metastatic CRC, comparing FOLFIRI vs FOLFIRI + Erbitux OPUS: phase 2, 337 patients newly diagnosed with metastatic CRC, comparing FOLFOX vs FOLFOX + Erbitux CA225025: phase 3, 572 patients with metastatic CRC that stopped responding to available treatments, comparing Best Supportive

Highlights from ASCO 2011

While there weren’t new blockbuster announcements for colorectal cancer this year at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Annual Meeting, there was plenty of focus on making what we already have work better and on choosing the patients who will benefit the most from treatments, as well as those who might not be helped at all. (Note, many of these issues will be discussed in detail on our upcoming patient webinar.) Highlights: While adding oxaliplatin to 5-FU improves five year survival slightly for stage II colon cancer, it increases side effects, particularly tingling and numbness in the feet.  An analysis of several NSABP trials found that two or three

Personalizing Personalized Medicine

On Monday, April 25th, Fight Colorectal Cancer held a free patient webinar that tackled the somewhat complex but fascinating topic of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine is what the cancer community calls treatments that are tailored to each patient’s genetic makeup. It is the future of cancer care and in some cases, it is already making a big difference in the ways patients are treated. You can learn about these cutting edge treatments and about emerging findings in an archive of the webinar below. Our thanks to Carolyn Grande, CRNP, AOCNP for leading the discussion. She a phenomenal educator on this topic and a member of our Medical Advisory Board. She graciously

Mutations are Not All the Same

We are making significant progress in understanding what genetic alterations in tumors really mean. Over the last two years, we have learned or the first time that there is an alteration in a gene called KRAS in colon cancer, and tumors which have this mutation do not respond to treatment with Erbitux® (cetuximab) or Vectibix® (panitumumab). This is the first time we have a marker to test for sensitivity of an antibody we have to treat colon cancer. It is very important to know that patients with tumors who carry a KRAS mutation (alteration) are not doing worse overall. They just don’t have any benefit from an antibody which targets

FDA Approves Labeling Changes for Erbitux and Vectibix to Reflect KRAS Status

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved labeling changes for Vectibix and Erbitux to reflect studies that found the two drugs are not effective in patients whose tumors have mutated KRAS. The FDA has updated the indication and usage for Vectibix™  (panitumumab) and Erbitux® (cetuximab) to include a statement that: retrospective subset analyses of metastatic or advanced colorectal cancer trials have not shown a treatment benefit for ERBITUX in patients whose tumors had K-ras mutations in codon 12 or 13 and that the use of ERBITUX is not recommended for the treatment of colorectal cancer with these mutations. Retrospective subset analyses of metastatic or advanced colorectal cancer trials have not

PACCE Results: Poorer Outcomes When Panitumumab is Added to Chemotherapy and Avastin

Patients being treated for the first time with chemotherapy and Avastin® (bevacizumab) do worse if Vectibix™ (panitumumab) is added to their chemotherapy.  Median time until the cancer progresses is shorter, and they have more serious side effects. KRAS status made no difference.  Both patients with wild-type and mutated KRAS in their tumors had worse outcomes when panitumumab was part of their treatment. The research team recommends that Vectibix not be added to chemotherapy with Avastin to treat colorectal cancer that has spread.

Preventive Measures Reduce Rash from Vectibix

Nearly all patients who are treated with Vectibix™ (panitumumab) will develop an itchy skin rash that looks something like acne.  However, treating the rash preemptively  before it appears reduces its severity and lengthens the time before more serious rash appears. During the STEPP (Skin Toxicity Evaluation Protocol with Panitumumab) trial, researchers randomized patients who were being treated with Vectibix to either preemptive skin rash management at the beginning of chemotherapy or reactive treatment once rash appeared.  After six weeks, 70 percent of patients treated preemptively had not developed grade 2 skin rash.  Sixty-two percent of the reactive group already had rash that was grade 2 or higher.

Is KRAS Testing Right for You?

Concerned about whether you should have your tumor tested for a KRAS mutation? You should discuss KRAS testing and your treatment options with your doctor If you are currently being treated with Erbitux® (cetuximab) or Vectibix™ (panitumumab) for colorectal cancer. Before beginning Erbitux or Vectibix treatment, either as single medicines or in combination with chemotherapy. When you are first diagnosed with advanced colon or rectal cancer and are planning a treatment strategy. Recent research has shown that people with a certain change or mutation in the KRAS gene in their tumor do not benefit from either Erbitux or Vectibix.  This is true whether the medicine is used alone (monotherapy) or

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