Cetuximab in recurrent and/or metastatic salivary gland carcinomas: A phase II study

L. D. Locati, P. Bossi, F. Perrone, P. Potepan, F. Crippa, L. Mariani, P. Casieri, M. Orsenigo, M. Losa, C. Bergamini, C. Liberatoscioli, P. Quattrone, R. G. Calderone, G. Rinaldi, S. Pilotti, L. Licitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


EGFR overexpression in salivary gland carcinomas provides the rational for the investigation of anti-EGFR treatments in recurrent and/or metastatic salivary gland cancers (RMSGCs). The activity of cetuximab in terms of clinical benefit rate (CBR) defined as the occurrence of objective response (CR or PR) or stable disease (SD) for ≥6 months was investigated. From April to December 2005, 30 patients [23 adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) and 7 non-ACC] were treated with cetuximab at 400 mg/m2/week followed by 250 mg/m2/week until progression, major toxicity or voluntary discontinuation. EGFR expression and gene status were retrospectively analyzed by immunocytochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization, respectively. A median of 14 courses of cetuximab (range 5-54) were infused. Skin toxicity was the main adverse event. Cetuximab provides a CBR in 50% (95% CL, 31 to 69%) of cases. None tumor sample showed EGFR gene amplification and an increased EGFR copy number was observed in 12% of samples, all ACC. Skin rash ≥G2, EGFR overexpression and EGFR copy number were not statistically correlated to CB. In RMSGCs further evaluations of EGFR targeting agents are advisable and should take place by appropriate tumor biological selection, differentiating ACC from non-ACC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Cetuximab
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Metastatic disease
  • Palliative treatment
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Target therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Cancer Research


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