Cetuximab is an active treatment of metastatic and chemorefractory thymoma

Giovannella Palmieri, Mirella Marino, Marco Salvatore, Alfrede Budillon, Giuseppina Meo, Michele Caraglia, Liliana Montella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advanced chemorefractory thymic epithelial tumors still represent a challenge in clinical oncology. A rationale-based therapeutic approach targeting a key pathway should represent the ideal solution in a neoplasm that can over-express Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) in the epithelial component. On the basis of these considerations, two patients with metastatic heavily pretreated disease were evaluated for EGFR expression in the primitive tumor, being considered this data as a basis for an anti EGFR treatment with the monoclonal antibody cetuximab which targets EGFR. A strong EGFR expression was revealed by immunohistochemistry in the two cases considered, thus the patients received cetuximab and reported a partial response as assessed by Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and fused PET-CT after three months of therapy. Therefore, both patients are still on therapy. This preliminary experience suggests that cetuximab may be a useful therapeutic choice in advanced pre-treated thymic tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-761
Number of pages5
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Cetuximab
  • Chemo-refractory
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • Metastatic
  • Thymoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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