Ramucirumab Clinical Development: an Emerging Role in Gastrointestinal Tumors

Target Oncol. 2016 Aug;11(4):479-87. doi: 10.1007/s11523-016-0419-8.


Ramucirumab (IMC-1121B, LY3009806) is a fully human G1 monoclonal antibody that specifically targets vascular endotelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) with a substantially greater binding affinity than that of its natural ligands. Early clinical trials in patients with advanced solid tumors demonstrated that biologically relevant blood target concentrations are achievable with tolerable doses, and also showed some preliminary evidence of clinical activity. Several pivotal phase III trials have now been concluded and have led regulatory agencies to grant marketing authorization to ramucirumab for use as second line therapy in patients with advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma (as single agent or in combination with paclitaxel), in patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma (CRC) (in combination with infusional fluorouracil and irinotecan (FOLFIRI regimen)) and in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (in combination with docetaxel). In contrast, ramucirumab failed to significantly improve survival versus placebo as second line therapy in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this review is to summarize the clinical development and emerging role of ramucirumab in gastrointestinal (GI) tumors, including relevant aspects of its mechanism of action, pharmacology, safety profile, and antitumor activity in gastric, HCC, and CRC carcinomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Ramucirumab


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