The combination of the monoclonal antibody panitumumab and the Folfiri therapy regimen may be effective when used for initial treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, according to study results presented at the 23rd annual Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium in New York City.
Panitumumab is a monoclonal antibody, which is a protein designed to locate certain components of cells. Panitumumab is targeted against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway -- a complex biological pathway that is involved in cellular replication. Often, cancerous cells have a mutation within the EGFR pathway; this results in uncontrolled replication and spread of cancer cells. Therefore, much research in the treatment of cancer is currently aimed at the EGFR pathway.
To evaluate the combination of FOLFIRI and panitumumab for initial treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, researchers at Northwestern University conducted a Phase II clinical trial among 24 patients. Patients were followed for a median of 10.7 months after treatment in order to assess response to treatment. Thirty-three percent of patients experienced a reduction in detectable cancer, while 13 percent of patients had cancer that progressed during treatment. All patients experienced toxic effects of treatment that involved the skin, hair, nails, or eyes; however, there were few serious toxic effects.