A phase i escalating single-dose and weekly fixed-dose study of cetuximab pharmacokinetics in Japanese patients with solid tumors

Kuniaki Shirao, Takayuki Yoshino, Narikazu Boku, Ken Kato, Tetsuya Hamaguchi, Hisateru Yasui, Nobuyuki Yamamoto, Yusuke Tanigawara, Arno Nolting, Shinichiro Yoshino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Cetuximab is a therapeutic immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody that recognizes the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). This phase I dose-escalation study was designed to assess the safety and pharmacokinetics (PK) of cetuximab in Japanese patients with EGFR-expressing, advanced, solid tumors and also to look for evidence of antitumor efficacy. Patients and methods: Thirty patients were enrolled in the study; 29 with colorectal adenocarcinomas and one with an adenocarcinoma of the lung. Patients received an initial/weekly infusion of cetuximab at dose levels of 100/100 (dose level 1), 250/250 (dose level 2), 400/250 (dose level 3), 500/250 (dose level 4) or 400/250 (dose level 5) mg/m2, for 7 or more weeks, with an interval between the initial and second infusion of 1 (dose level 5 representing the standard regimen) or 2 weeks (dose levels 1-4 of the non-standard regimens). Results: No dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were observed during the evaluation period. All patients had at least one adverse event (AE). The most common cetuximab-related AEs were skin toxicity (93% of patients), including acneiform dermatitis (83% of patients). Two patients experienced cetuximab-related grade 3 AEs of skin toxicity and diarrhea after DLT evaluation. C max and AUC0-∞ after the initial infusion showed dose-proportional increases. Mean total body clearance (CL) values decreased with dose at the lower dose levels. At doses of ≥400 mg/m2, CL values appeared to level off. Mean trough concentrations for dose level 5 were constant from week 4 (day 29) onward. Two patients (8%) achieved partial response (at 100/100 mg/m2). The overall disease control rate (partial response + stable disease) was 58%. Conclusion: The current study demonstrated that cetuximab PK and safety profiles are similar between Japanese and non-Japanese patient populations. It would appear that the standard dose of an initial 2-h infusion of 400 mg/m2 followed thereafter by weekly 1-h infusions of 250 mg/m2 for non-Japanese patients is feasible for future clinical studies in Japanese patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-564
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal
  • EGFR
  • Japanese
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'A phase i escalating single-dose and weekly fixed-dose study of cetuximab pharmacokinetics in Japanese patients with solid tumors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this