IMC-C225, an anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody, for treatment of head and neck cancer

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2001 Jul;1(4):719-32. doi: 10.1517/14712598.1.4.719.


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck (H&N) remains a clinical challenge due to its high rate of locoregional disease recurrence. The importance of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in the development and progression of many solid tumours (including SCC of the H&N) is well understood; increased expression is associated with enhanced tumour invasion, resistance to chemotherapy and decreased patient survival. Several approaches have been developed to achieve EGFR blockade as an anticancer treatment strategy, including an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody (mAb), IMC-C225, which competitively binds to the extracellular receptor site to prevent binding by natural EGFR ligands (EGF and TGF-alpha). Preclinical studies evaluating this chimeric mAb in human cancer cell lines in vitro and human tumour xenografts in vivo have demonstrated its potent antitumour activity. The clinical efficacy of IMC-C225 appears to involve multiple anticancer mechanisms, including inhibition of cell cycle progression, induction of apoptosis, anti-angiogenesis, inhibition of metastasis and its ability to enhance the response to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Phase I studies of IMC-C225 combined with chemotherapy or radiation for SCC of the H&N demonstrate excellent response rates in patients with recurrent or refractory disease. Phase II and III trials examining the efficacy and safety of these combinations are currently underway. To date, IMC-C225 has been well-tolerated, with skin rashes and allergic reactions being the most clinically important adverse events reported. IMC-C225 displays dose-dependent elimination characteristics and a half-life of approximately 7 days. Current recommendations for dosing include a 400 mg/m2 loading dose, followed by weekly infusions of 250 mg/m2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cetuximab
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Cetuximab