Targeting colorectal cancer with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibodies: Focus on panitumumab

Kerry J. Williams, Albert Lockhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The tumor biology targeted therapies have improved outcomes in colorectal cancer (CRC). The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors represent one of these successful strategies. EGFR is frequently overexpressed in CRCs and associated with a malignant phenotype. Two EGFR inhibitors have shown efficacy in metastatic CRC, cetuximab and panitumumab. Cetuximab is a human-mouse chimeric monoclonal antibody that binds to the extracellular domain of the EGF-receptor. Similarly, panitumumab is a fully humanized monoclonal IgG2 antibody, directed against EGFR. Being fully humanized, panitumumab does not contain mouse protein reducing the risk of hypersensitivity. In a pivotal clinical trial, panitumumab was well tolerated and effective, demonstrating an objective response rate of 10% vs best supportive care (ORR = 0%; P < 0.0001). Panitumumab was approved for the treatment of mCRC by the FDA in 2006. Studies combining panitumumab with cytotoxic chemotherapy and other targeted therapies have been completed while others are ongoing to further evaluate the clinical utility of this agent. Recently it has been demonstrated that mutations in KRAS predict the efficacy of panitumumab and cetuximab, limiting their use to CRC patients with wild-type KRAS, and moving the clinical field towards personalized cancer care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalOncoTargets and Therapy
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • KRAS
  • Panitumumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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