Cetuximab Erbitux

Cetuximab Erbitux

This chemotherapy and cancerdrugs article is about Cetuximab (Erbitux) which is used to treat metastatic cancer of the colon and rectum and also cancers of the head and neck. It is a monoclonal antibody often used in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiotherapy as it may make cancer cells more sensitive to those treatments. For example for bowel cancers it is commonly given with irinotecan.   Monoclonal antibodies are a relatively new type of drug which recognise certain proteins that are found on the surface of some types of cancer cells. Once the monoclonal antibody recognises the protein it attaches itself to it, which is thought to then trigger the body’s immune system to attack the cancer cells and cause the cells to destroy themselves.  They cause little damage to normal cells. It is administered intravenously, generally weekly.

Side effects (generally mild) can include: tiredness, flu-like symptoms, allergic reactions, skin changes, nausea, diarrhoea; fever, conjunctivitis.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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Other articles that you may find interesting are:

  1. A diet for Chemotherapy
  2. Immunotherapy overview
  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

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