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Merck at ASCO 2007: Spectrum of Studies Reinforces Promise of,Erbitux for Colorectal and Head and Neck Cancer Patients

ancer may occur in the epithelial cells of any tissue or organ in the head and neck region excluding the eyes, brain, ears, thyroid or esophagus. Most head and neck cancers occur in the oral cavity (43%) followed by the pharynx (33%) and the larynx (24%).(4) The estimated incidence of head and neck cancers in Europe is around 140,000 annually, with over 65,000 deaths per year.(5) Currently, median survival for patients with recurrent or metastatic disease is only about six months.(6)

(a) CRYSTAL: Cetuximab combined with iRinotecan in first line therapY for metaSTatic colorectAL cancer
(b) OPUS: OxaliPlatin and cetUximab in firSt-line treatment of mCRC
(c) EXTREME: ErbituX in first line Treatment of REcurrent or MEtastatic head & neck cancer
(d) EPIC: European Prospective Investigation of Cancer
(e) LABEL: Latin American ErBitux prE-License study
(f) MABEL: Monoclonal Antibody ErBitux in a European Pre-License Study
(g) EVEREST: Evaluation of Various ErBitux REgimens by means of Skin and Tumour biopsies

About ERBITUX
ERBITUX® is a first-in-class and highly active IgG1 monoclonal antibody targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). As a monoclonal antibody, the mode of action of Erbitux is distinct from standard non-selective chemotherapy treatments in that it specifically targets and binds to the EGFR. This binding inhibits the activation of the receptor and the subsequent signal-transduction pathway, which results in reducing both the invasion of normal tissues by tumor cells and the spread of tumors to new sites. It is also believed to inhibit the ability of tumor cells to repair the damage caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy and to inhibit the formation of new blood vessels inside tumors, which appears to lead to an overall suppression of tumor growth.

The most commonly reported side effect with Erbitux is an acne-like skin rash that seems to be correlated with a good response to
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