Advances in Therapy

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 1497–1509 | Cite as

An Update of Efficacy and Safety of Cetuximab in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: A Narrative Review

  • Giulia FornasierEmail author
  • Sara Francescon
  • Paolo Baldo


Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer, representing 13% of all diagnosed cancers. Cetuximab is a recombinant chimeric monoclonal IgG1 antibody and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor. Cetuximab is approved for the first-line treatment in combination with chemotherapy or as a single agent in patients who have failed or are intolerant to chemotherapy in patients with EGFR-expressing, RAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer. Cetuximab efficacy emerged from studies that were conducted to approve the drug. Cetuximab is well tolerated; its toxicities are caused by its mechanism of action and the most common adverse reaction is skin toxicity. The main purpose of this manuscript is to present an update on the evidence-based summary of efficacy and safety and on the cost-effectiveness of cetuximab. Furthermore, it suggests a management of adverse drug reactions to improve the tolerability of the drug.


Adverse drug reactions BRAF Cetuximab EGFR Metastatic colorectal cancer 




No sources of funding were used in the preparation of this review. The article processing charges were funded by the author.

Editorial and Other Assistance

Literature search strategy was performed by Laura Ciolfi, a biomedical librarian of the Unit of Scientific and Patients’ Library at CRO Aviano IRCCS.


All named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this article, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given their approval for this version to be published.


Giulia Fornasier, Sara Francescon and Paolo Baldo have nothing to disclose.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Data Availability

The datasets during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Copyright information

© Springer Healthcare Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulia Fornasier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sara Francescon
    • 1
  • Paolo Baldo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico (CRO) di Aviano-IRCCSNational Cancer InstituteAvianoItaly

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