At what stage is this treatment used?
- Cetuximab is used as a first or second-line treatment option for patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing, RAS wild-type advanced (metastatic) colorectal cancer in combination with chemotherapy. Cetuximab can also be given as a single agent in patients who have failed or are intolerant to oxaliplatin-based therapy and irinotecan-based therapy.
- Before you are prescribed cetuximab, your doctor will test your cancer cells to see if they contain either the normal (wild-type) or mutant forms of genes called RAS. Cetuximab is used to treat patients who express normal (wild-type) RAS genes.
Is this drug available via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as a subsidised treatment?
- Cetuximab is PBS-subsidised as a treatment in combination with first-line chemotherapy of a patient with RAS wild-type metastatic bowel cancer who does not have progressive disease.
- Cetuximab is PBS-subsidised as monotherapy or in combination with an irinotecan based therapy, of a patient with a WHO performance status of 2 or less and with RAS wild type metastatic bowel cancer after failure to respond to first-line chemotherapy. The treatment must be the sole PBS-subsidised anti-EGFR antibody therapy for this condition.
- Patients who have progressive disease on panitumumab are not eligible to receive PBS-subsidised cetuximab. Patients who have developed intolerance to panitumumab of a severity necessitating permanent treatment withdrawal are eligible to receive PBS-subsidised cetuximab.
Download the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) for Cetuximab