Cetuximab for the treatment of locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck

NICE technology appraisals [TA145] Published date:

Cetuximab in combination with radiotherapy is recommended as a possible treatment for people with locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the head and neck if:

  • they have a Karnofsky performance-status score of 90% or more, and
  • all forms of platinum-based chemotherapy are considered inappropriate

Healthcare professionals should not stop prescribing cetuximab in combination with radiotherapy for people who were already receiving it when the guidance was issued, but who do not fulfil the above criteria. These patients should be able to carry on taking cetuximab until they and their healthcare professionals decide that it is the right time to stop treatment.

When assessing Karnofsky performance-status score, healthcare professionals should take into account any disabilities that might affect a person?s ability to carry out daily activities.

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