Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is over-expressed in amany esophageal and gastric carcinomas. Pteintiall it can be targer for Erbitux*cetiximab) and there has been significant interest in targeting it. Unfortunately, it has not yet shown much progress. A phase II study showed minimal clinical activity of cetuximab. A recent phase III trial, EXPAND (Erbitux in Combination With Xeloda and Cisplatin in Advanced Esophagogastric Cancer), involved 904 patients in 24 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America, and in Japan. Patients had advanced cancer of the stomach or gastroesophageal junctio. Results weres similar between treatment groups and the primary and secondary endpoints were not met; progression-free survival was 4.4 versus 5.6 months and overall survival was 9.4 versus 10.7 months with cetuximab combination and control treatment, respectively. Overall response rates were 29% with cetuximab and 30% with control. More research remains to be done.
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