Cetuximab for the first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer

NICE technology appraisals [TA176] Published date:

Cetuximab given with other drugs called 5-fluorouracil, folinic acid and oxaliplatin is recommended as a possible first treatment for people with metastatic colorectal cancer only when:

  • surgery to remove the cancer in the colon or rectum has been carried out or is possible
  • the metastases are only in the liver and cannot be removed surgically before treatment
  • the person is fit enough to have surgery to remove the cancer inthe colon or rectum and to have liver surgery if it becomes possible to remove the metastases after cetuximab treatment
  • the manufacturer refunds 16% of the amount of cetuximab used on a per patient basis.

Cetuximab given with 5-fluorouracil, folinic acid and irinotecan is recommended as a possible first treatment for people with metastatic colorectal cancer only when:

  • surgery to remove the cancer in the colon or rectum has been carried out or is possible
  • the metastases are only in the liver and cannot be removed surgically before treatment
  • the person is fit enough to have surgery to remove the cancer in the colon or rectum and to have liver surgery if it becomes possible to remove the metastases after cetuximab treatment
  • the person cannot take oxaliplatin because of its side effects or contraindications.

Treatment with cetuximab should stop after 16 weeks and the person should be assessed to see if they can have surgery to remove the metastases in their liver.

People with metastases only in the liver who receive cetuximab should have their treatment managed only by multidisciplinary teams that involve highly specialised liver surgical services.

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