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ORLANDO -- Treatment-refractory advanced gastric cancers may respond to combination therapy with Erbitux (cetuximab) and Camptosar (irinotecan), researchers reported here.
ORLANDO, Jan. 23 -- Treatment-refractory advanced gastric cancers may respond to combination therapy with Erbitux (cetuximab) and Camptosar (irinotecan), researchers reported here.
In a small pilot study, three of 13 patients with metastatic gastric cancer who had failed at least three chemotherapy regimens, achieved a partial response when Erbitux was added to Camptosar, said Alexander Stein, M.D., of Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany.
Moreover, seven patients maintained stable disease for periods ranging from five to 44 weeks, Dr. Stein reported at a gastrointestinal cancer symposium here.
Patients included in the analysis were refractory to standard 5FU (5 fluorouracil)-platinum regimens. All patients completed at least four weeks of the Erbitux-Camptosar regimen starting with an initial dose of 400 mg/m2, followed by 250 mg/m2 combined Camptosar dosed weekly, biweekly, or some alternate dosing schedule.
The median time to progression for the 13 patients was 11 weeks and median overall survival was 14 weeks, but overall survival ranged from 10 to 67 weeks.
Dr. Stein said that in this pilot study Erbitux-Camptosar combination demonstrated activity even among Camptosar refractory patients, which suggests that the benefit might be greater with longer term treatment in selected patients.
For example, two of the patients who were positive for over expression of epithelial growth factors received 27 and 41 weeks of treatment and achieved a progression free survival of 44 weeks, he said.
The Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium was jointly sponsored by American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the American Gastroenterological Association Institute, and the Society of Surgical Oncology.