Pulmonary embolism during palliative chemotherapy including cetuximab for metastatic colorectal cancer

Akira Goto, Kazuya Suzuki, Yuka Hasegawa, Yasutaka Sukawa, Kenichi Fujii, Susumu Nishimura, Kazuhiko Yonezawa, Takashi Abe, Yasuhisa Shinomura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In May 2007, a 48-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital for acute intestinal obstruction, and she was subsequently diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer in the sigmoid colon. Jejunum-ileum anastomosis and colostomy were performed as palliative surgery because the locally-advanced primary tumor had involved the ileum and other surrounding organs and formed a huge mass. After placement of a central venous port, palliative chemotherapy mFOLFOX6 was commenced. In May 2008, mFOLFOX6 was replaced with FOLFIRI because of progression of both the metastasized and the primary tumors. On November 20, 2008, cetuximab was added to FOLFIRI because of the further disease progression. However, on December 24, 2008, the patient presented with sudden-onset dyspnea. Her blood gas analysis revealed severe hypoxemia and metabolic acidosis, and CT scan showed bilateral pulmonary artery embolism. After intensive treatment, the patient was able to walk under the room-air condition. However, on January 19, 2009, she died of pneumonitis. We believe that this is an interesting case with respect to the relationship between pulmonary embolism and malignancy and may hint at a causal relationship between pulmonary embolism and cetuximab, which is currently uncertain. We report this case herein along with a literature review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-171
Number of pages3
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer and Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Pulmonary embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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