Background: Cetuximab enhances the efficacy of chemotherapy in several cancer types. This trial assessed the activity of cetuximab and chemotherapy in advanced gastric cancer.
Methods: Patients with previously untreated, metastatic, gastric cancer received cetuximab 400 mg m(-2) at first infusion followed by weekly infusions of 250 mg m(-2) combined with FUFOX (oxaliplatin 50 mg m(-2), 5-FU 2000 mg m(-2), and DL-folinic acid 200 mg m(-2) d1, 8, 15 and 22 qd36). The primary endpoint was tumour response.
Results: Overall, 52 patients were enrolled. The most common grade 3/4 toxicities were diarrhoea (33%), and skin toxicity (24%). Efficacy was evaluable in 46 patients who showed a response rate of 65% (CI 95%: 50-79%) including four complete responses. Time to progression (TTP) was 7.6 months (CI 95%: 5.0-10.1 months) and overall survival (OS) was 9.5 months (CI 95%: 7.9-11.1 months). Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was detectable in 60% of tumours but showed no correlation with treatment outcome. A KRAS mutation was found in only 1 of 32 (3%) tumour samples analysed.
Conclusion: Cetuximab plus FUFOX showed an interesting high response rate in metastatic gastric cancer. Cetuximab plus platinum-fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy is at present being investigated in a phase III randomised controlled trial.