Different Toxicity of Cetuximab and Panitumumab in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Fausto Petrelli, Raffaele Ardito, Antonio Ghidini, Alberto Zaniboni, Michele Ghidini, Sandro Barni, Gianluca Tomasello

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Over the last few years only one large randomized phase III study has tried to prospectively assess the safety of cetuximab and panitumumab in a head-to-head comparison. Despite the similar overall toxicity profile, cetuximab and panitumumab retain peculiar safety characteristics that deserve to be deeply investigated. Methods: We conducted a systematic review for randomized trials in PubMed, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and EMBASE using the terms ("cetuximab" or "panitumumab") AND ("colorectal cancer" OR "colorectal carcinoma"). Data of adverse events were aggregated to obtain pooled incidence rates of prespecified adverse events. Incidence of skin toxicities was the primary outcome. A χ2 test was used for comparisons of proportions and an odds ratio (OR) was calculated for comparison. Results: A total of 38 studies were included for analysis. Cetuximab was associated with fewer G3-4 skin toxicities (OR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.53-0.62; p < 0.001), slightly more frequent G3-4 acne-like rash (OR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.04-1.48; p = 0.04), and paronychia (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.1-1.7), but fewer cases of skin fissures (OR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.44-0.93; p = 0.02) and pruritus (OR = 0.45, 95% CI 0.35-0.58; p < 0.001) than PANI. Conclusions: In conclusion, this meta-analysis shows that cetuximab- and panitumumab-based chemotherapy have different toxicity profiles in terms of the rate of severe adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalOncology (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Meta-analysis
  • Panitumumab
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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