Nimotuzumab, a promising therapeutic monoclonal for treatment of tumors of epithelial origin

MAbs. Jan-Feb 2009;1(1):41-8. doi: 10.4161/mabs.1.1.7509.


Nimotuzumab is a humanized therapeutic monoclonal antibody against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Clinical trials are ongoing globally to evaluate nimotuzumab in different indications. Nimotuzumab has been granted approval for use in squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN), glioma and nasopharyngeal cancer in different countries. This review focuses on the unique functional characteristics of nimotuzumab. Also, it discusses the safety and efficacy data obtained from the Phase IIb clinical trial conducted in India in SCCHN. Post marketing surveillance data from Cuba for the use of nimotuzumab in pediatric and adult glioma is also discussed. Overall, nimotuzumab has immense therapeutic potential in cancers of epithelial origin.

Keywords: EGFR; SCCHN; glioma; humanized; monoclonal antibody; nimotuzumab; overall survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Cuba
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • nimotuzumab
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors