Phase II trial of cetuximab in the treatment of persistent or recurrent squamous or non-squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix: a Gynecologic Oncology Group study

Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Sep;122(3):495-500. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.05.040.


Purpose: The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) conducted a phase II trial to assess the efficacy and tolerability of the anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab, in persistent or recurrent carcinoma of the cervix.

Patients and methods: Eligible patients had cervical cancer, measurable disease, and GOG performance status ≤2. Treatment consisted of cetuximab 400 mg/m(2) initial dose followed by 250 mg/m(2) weekly until disease progression or prohibitive toxicity. The primary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months and response. The study used a 2-stage group sequential design.

Results: Thirty-eight patients were entered with 3 exclusions, leaving 35 evaluable for analysis. Thirty-one patients (88.6%) received prior radiation as well as either 1 (n=25, 71.4%) or 2 (n=10) prior cytotoxic regimens. Twenty-four patients (68.6%) had a squamous cell carcinoma. Grade 3 adverse events possibly related to cetuximab included dermatologic (n=5), GI (n=4), anemia (n=2), constitutional (n=3), infection (n=2), vascular (n=2), pain (n=2), and pulmonary, neurological, vomiting and metabolic (n=1 each). No clinical responses were detected. Five patients (14.3%; two-sided 90% CI, 5.8% to 30%) survived without progression for at least 6 months. The median PFS and overall survival (OS) times were 1.97 and 6.7 months, respectively. In this study, all patients with PFS at 6 months harbored tumors with squamous cell histology.

Conclusion: Cetuximab is well tolerated but has limited activity in this population. Cetuximab activity may be limited to patients with squamous cell histology.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Cetuximab
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Survival Rate
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*


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