Italian survey on cetuximab-based therapy of elderly patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

  • Gerardo RosatiEmail author
  • Raffaele Addeo
  • Giuseppe Aprile
  • Antonio Avallone
  • Domenico Bilancia
  • Silvia Brugnatelli
  • Gabriella Buccafusca
  • Chiara Carlomagno
  • Stefano Cordio
  • Sara Delfanti
  • Emanuela Dell’Aquila
  • Maurizio Di Bisceglie
  • Samantha Di Donato
  • Antonio Di Stasi
  • Domenico Germano
  • Francesco Giuliani
  • Cristina Granetto
  • Tiziana Pia Latiano
  • Silvana Leo
  • Paolo Tralongo
  • Maria Elena Stroppolo
  • Filippo Venturini
  • Salvatore Bianco
Original Article



There is no consensus on the use of cetuximab in elderly patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. To this end, a survey was carried in 17 Italian oncology centers.


The centers answered a 29-item questionnaire structured as follows: (i) demographic characteristics; (ii) medical history; (iii) assessment of RAS/BRAF mutations and DPD/UGT polymorphism before treatment; (iv) treatment schemes and side effects; (v) geriatric assessment and customization of treatment.


One-third of patients are over 80 years old. The RAS/BRAF mutational status is not primarily evaluated by 17.6% of the centers, while DPD and UGT polymorphism is not evaluated by 82.4% and 76.5% of the centers. The most common therapeutic scheme is cetuximab/FOLFIRI and diarrhea is the main cause of suspension/reduction of treatment. The 70% of centers use systemic tetracyclines for skin toxicity. The 23.5% of the centers do not carry out any geriatric evaluation before the start of the therapy and those who perform it prefer the G8 (70.6%) and VES-13 (29.4%) scales.


Greater efforts should be made to improve the evaluation of the patient both about mutational and genetic procedures with geriatric evaluation. As for cetuximab in elderly patients, randomized studies are needed to provide guidance to physicians.


Cetuximab Elderly patients Metastatic colorectal cancer Survey 



The survey was possible thanks to a restricted grant of Merck Serono.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerardo Rosati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raffaele Addeo
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Aprile
    • 3
  • Antonio Avallone
    • 4
  • Domenico Bilancia
    • 1
  • Silvia Brugnatelli
    • 5
  • Gabriella Buccafusca
    • 6
  • Chiara Carlomagno
    • 7
  • Stefano Cordio
    • 8
  • Sara Delfanti
    • 5
  • Emanuela Dell’Aquila
    • 9
  • Maurizio Di Bisceglie
    • 10
  • Samantha Di Donato
    • 11
  • Antonio Di Stasi
    • 12
  • Domenico Germano
    • 13
  • Francesco Giuliani
    • 14
  • Cristina Granetto
    • 15
  • Tiziana Pia Latiano
    • 16
  • Silvana Leo
    • 17
  • Paolo Tralongo
    • 6
  • Maria Elena Stroppolo
    • 18
  • Filippo Venturini
    • 18
  • Salvatore Bianco
    • 19
  1. 1.U.O. Oncologia MedicaAzienda Ospedaliera S. CarloPotenzaItaly
  2. 2.U.O. Oncologia MedicaOspedale “San Giovanni di Dio”, ASL NA 2 NORDFrattamaggioreItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Oncologia ClinicaOspedale San Bortolo, AULSS8VicenzaItaly
  4. 4.Unità Oncologia Clinica Sperimentale Addome, Dipartimento Assistenziale e di Ricerca dei Percorsi Oncologici del Distretto AddominaleINT Fondazione ‘G. Pascale’NaplesItaly
  5. 5.S.C. Oncologia Medica, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San MatteoPaviaItaly
  6. 6.U.O. Oncologia Medica, Ospedale Umberto I – RAOSiracusaItaly
  7. 7.Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e ChirurgiaUniversità Federico IINaplesItaly
  8. 8.S.C. Oncologia MedicaOspedale GaribaldiCataniaItaly
  9. 9.U.O. Oncologia Medica, Campus Bio-MedicoUniversità di RomaRomeItaly
  10. 10.U.O. Oncologia Medica, OORRFoggiaItaly
  11. 11.S.O.C. Oncologia Medica, USL Toscana-CentroPratoItaly
  12. 12.Divisione OncologiaGallipoliItaly
  13. 13.U.O.C. Oncologia MedicaA.O. “G. Rummo”BeneventoItaly
  14. 14.Oncologia MedicaIstituto Tumori Giovanni Paolo IIBariItaly
  15. 15.A.O. S. Croce e CarleCuneoItaly
  16. 16.Dipartimento di Oncologia MedicaOspedale Casa Sollievo della SofferenzaSan Giovanni RotondoItaly
  17. 17.USS Oncologia GeriatricaLecceItaly
  18. 18.Merck Serono S.p.ARomeItaly
  19. 19.Fullcro S.r.lRomeItaly

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