Cetuximab monotherapy in advanced cervical cancer: a retrospective study with five patients

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2011 Jan;283(1):109-13. doi: 10.1007/s00404-010-1389-1. Epub 2010 Feb 24.


Objective: Effective cytotoxic treatment options for advanced cervical cancer are exceedingly limited. Therefore, interest has increased in targeted therapeutics for the treatment of cervical cancer. Cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody, binds specifically to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and competitively inhibits the binding of epidermal growth factor and other ligands. In cervical cancer the expression of EGFR is reported in up to 85% of the tumour cells. Therefore, Cetuximab monotherapy could be a new option in the treatment of patients with advanced cervical cancer.

Study design: Five patients with advanced cervical cancer were treated with Cetuximab monotherapy as third- to fifth-line therapy between 2005 and 2008 in our institution. The tumour stage at the time of diagnosis ranged between IIB and IVB. Cetuximab was applied with an initial loading dose of 400 mg/m(2) followed by a dose of 250 mg/m(2) weekly.

Results: Only one patient (20%) had a stable disease, and the other four a progressive disease during Cetuximab monotherapy, after the RECIST criteria. Four out of five patients (80%) developed an acneiform rash as a common observed side effect of Cetuximab therapy. The median survival time from the beginning of the Cetuximab therapy was 8.6 months.

Conclusion: No advantage could be found in the treatment with Cetuximab monotherapy in patients with advanced cervical cancer in this study. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the significance of Cetuximab in the treatment of advanced cervical cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Acneiform Eruptions / chemically induced
  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cetuximab
  • Drug Eruptions / etiology
  • Exanthema / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


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