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Rectal Cancer treatment details. Chemotherapy. Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem, Belgium

Survival: 12.5 months
Toxicity Grade: 5
Treatments: Chemotherapy
Country: Belgium
City/State/Province: Edegem
Hospital: Antwerp University Hospital
Journal: Link
Date: 11/2010

This phase III study involved patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who had previously received chemotherapy. Patients were divided into two separate treatment groups. Group A consisted of 541 patients with a median age of 60 years and 59% were male. There were 542 patients in group B, the median age was 62 years, and 62% were male.

Group A was treated with the combination of chemotherapy agents called FOLFIRI (includes fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan) as well as the biologic therapy called panitumumab, which is a monoclonal antibody that blocks EGFR, a protein involved in cancer cell growth. Group B was treated with FOLFIRI only.

For group A, treatment-related deaths due to diarrhea and intestinal obstruction were reported (toxicity grade 5). Skin reactions, GI tract inflammation (mucositis), and neutropenia of grade 3-4 were also reported in this group.

Treatment-related deaths due to sepsis and heart failure were reported for group B. Grade 3-4 neutropenia and diarrhea were also reported.

The median progression-free survival for groups A and B was 5.9 and 3.9 months, respectively. The median overall survival was 14.5 months for group A and 12.5 months for group B.

This study was supported by Amgen, makers of Vectibix, the trade name for panitumumab.

Correspondence: Dr. Marc Peeters; email:

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