Cetuximab Drug For Throat Cancer Treatment

What is Cetuximab?

Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody (Mab) that is used in the treatment of cancer. It is effective in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, and head and neck cancers such as throat cancer, laryngeal cancer etc. It is an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor. It is administered intravenously.

Photograph of Cetuximab inside a laboratory

Availability, dosage and administration of Cetuximab

Cetuximab is not available in pill form. It is only available as vials and administered as an intravenous (IV) drip.

Available vials:

  • 100mg/50mL (2mg/mL)
  • 200mg/100mL (2mg/mL)

The amount of Cetuximab and the schedule that it is given, depends on factors such as the patient’s height and weight (Body surface area), their general health condition and the stage of the cancer being treated.

Cetuximab dosage also varies as per the type of the disease being treated, such as metastatic colorectal cancer or advanced head & neck cancers.

Side effects of Cetuximab

The most common side effects of Cetuximab are:

  • Skin rash (acne or severe rash)
  • Infusion related symptoms like fever, chills, urticaria, flushing etc.
  • Lung toxicity in the form of interstitial lung disease where patient may present with cough, difficulty in breathing etc.

Precautions to be taken while using Cetuximab

  • Patients should discuss all current prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements with their doctors before starting a Cetuximab regimen.
  • Patients should discuss the possible long-term side effects of a Cetuximab regimen with their attending oncologists before beginning the treatment.
  • Patients should be warned against sun exposure.
  • Contraindicated in pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding should be avoided.

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