Background: Catumaxomab, the first anti-EpCAM antibody, was approved in 2009 for the treatment of malignant ascites in cancer patients with EpCAM positive tumors. We consider this case of interest as treatment with catumaxomab not only prolonged the puncture-free interval but also showed a systemic effect in a patient with metastasized colorectal cancer by regression of a pulmonary metastasis.
Case presentation: We describe the case of a 78 year old patient initially diagnosed with locally advanced colon cancer and one synchronous liver metastasis in September 2010 who was treated by hemicolectomy and simultaneous atypical liver resection. During adjuvant chemotherapy the patient developed a peritoneal carcinomatosis with ascites in March 2011. Palliative chemotherapy was not well tolerated and therefore refused by the patient. Because of disease progression in June 2011 with one pulmonary metastasis and clinically predominant ascites an immunotherapy with intraperitoneal catumaxomab was started in December 2011. After treatment with catumaxomab a puncture free survival of 12 months as well as a regression of the pulmonary lesion was achieved until January 2013.
Conclusion: This case suggests that treatment with catumaxomab does not only improve quality of life by local suppression of malignant ascites but also might have a systemic antitumor effect.