Cetuximab can reverse chemotherapy resistance in colorectal cancer. This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of the combination of docetaxel and cetuximab as a second-line treatment in docetaxel-refractory oesophagogastric cancer.
Patients received docetaxel 30 mg m(-2) on days 1 and 8, every 3 weeks and cetuximab 400 mg m(-2) on day 1, then 250 mg m(-2) weekly. Biomarker mutation analysis was performed.
A total of 38 patients were enrolled. Response rates were PR 6% (95% CI 2-19%), s.d. 43% (95% CI 28-59%). Main grade 3/4 toxicities were febrile neutropenia, anorexia, nausea, diarrhoea, stomatitis, and acneiform rash. Median progression-free and overall survival were 2.1 and 5.4 months, respectively. A landmark analysis showed a trend to improved survival times with increased grade of acneiform rash. No KRAS, BRAF or PIK3CA mutations were observed.
Cetuximab and docetaxel achieve modest responses rates, but maintain comparable survival times to other salvage regimens with low rates of toxicity.