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Drug that helps metastatic colon cancer of no benefit in less advanced tumors
Date:6/7/2010

urrence), compared to 72 percent in patients who used both therapies. Overall survival in all patients to date is also better in patients who did not receive cetuximab. However, as this study was stopped early after a median follow-up of approximately two years, "Follow-up in regard to survival is short at this point," Dr. Alberts says.

The researchers also concluded that while there were no differences in toxicity between treatment groups in patients younger than 70, there was increased toxicity as well as greater differences in outcomes in patients aged 70 and older.

The researchers have theories as to why stage III colon cancer patients did not benefit from cetuximab, but no evidence yet. Two favored ideas are that cetuximab could be switching on, or increasing activity, in molecular pathways that promote cellular growth, or could be creating resistance to the effects of chemotherapy.

"The most critical question from this trial is why a difference exists between patients with stage III disease, where cetuximab is not of benefit, and patients with metastatic cancer, where cetuximab does provide benefit," Dr. Alberts says. "We aim to find out."


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Contact: Karl Oestreich
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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