Adverse events associated with anti-EGFR therapies for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer

M. Fakih, M. Vincent


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a member of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases, plays an important role in the control of cell growth and differentiation. Disruption of its signaling leads to neoplastic cell proliferation, migration, stromal invasion, resistance to apoptosis, and angiogenesis.

EGFR is overexpressed in a variety of solid tumors, including colorectal cancer (CRC), and its overexpression is associated with poorer prognosis. One class of agents that is currently used to target EGFR in the treatment of metastatic CRC (mCRC) is the monoclonal antibodies. While the monoclonal antibody EGFR inhibitors lack many of the severe side effects commonly observed with cytotoxic chemotherapy, they are associated with a set of unique dermatological toxicities. This paper reviews the safety profile of the anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies cetuximab and panitumumab in the treatment of mCRC.

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)