Target and mechanism of action: it is a monoclonal antibody that affects the extracellular domain of EGFR.
Indications: it has been approved in combination with a chemotherapy drug, Irinotecan or Camptothecine for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer expressing EGFR after failure of Irinotecan-including cytotoxic therapy.
Currently there are numerous studies to evaluate its use in the earliest stages of the disease (adjuvant therapy after surgery of radical removal of cancer of the colon-rectum and first-line therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer) and in different neoplasia (cancers of the stomach, pancreas and so on).
Mode of administration: it is administered intravenously on a weekly basis.
Most common side effects: skin reactions (folliculitis and/or less frequent nails changes), hypersensitivity reactions, conjunctivitis and diarrhea.
Trade name: Erbitux (pharmaceutics industries Merck KgaA). On 29/06/2004 The European Commission has granted marketing authorization valid throughout the European Union of the drug Erbitux on the market, previously approved by The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (02/12/2004). The drug is sold in Italy from July 2005.