Cetuximab in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Timothy Sullivan, Carolina G. Benjamin, Phillip W. Kempf, John F. Deeken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Members of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family and their associated ligands are commonly expressed by synovial cells, and may be involved in the synovial hyperplasia seen in rheumatoid arthritis and its disease progression. This family of receptors is also expressed in cancer cells, and EGFR targeted therapy is now a mainstay of anticancer therapy. Cetuximab (Erbitux) is a monoclonal antibody directed against the EGFR extracellular receptor that has received Food and Drug Administration approval for the treatment of colorectal cancer as well as head and neck cancer. We report a case of a 61-year-old woman with an extensive history of rheumatoid arthritis requiring multiple therapies, who experienced a surprising remission of her disease and its symptoms while being treated with cetuximab for her head and neck cancer. The case as well as possible mechanisms of action are discussed. Further clinical investigations are clearly warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-33
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cetuximab
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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