Italian survey on cetuximab-based therapy of elderly patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

Gerardo Rosati, Raffaele Addeo, Giuseppe Aprile, Antonio Avallone, Domenico Bilancia, Silvia Brugnatelli, Gabriella Buccafusca, Chiara Carlomagno, Stefano Cordio, Sara Delfanti, Emanuela Dell’Aquila, Maurizio Di Bisceglie, Samantha Di Donato, Antonio Di Stasi, Domenico Germano, Francesco Giuliani, Cristina Granetto, Tiziana Pia Latiano, Silvana Leo, Paolo TralongoMaria Elena Stroppolo, Filippo Venturini, Salvatore Bianco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: There is no consensus on the use of cetuximab in elderly patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. To this end, a survey was carried in 17 Italian oncology centers. Methods: The centers answered a 29-item questionnaire structured as follows: (i) demographic characteristics; (ii) medical history; (iii) assessment of RAS/BRAF mutations and DPD/UGT polymorphism before treatment; (iv) treatment schemes and side effects; (v) geriatric assessment and customization of treatment. Results: One-third of patients are over 80 years old. The RAS/BRAF mutational status is not primarily evaluated by 17.6% of the centers, while DPD and UGT polymorphism is not evaluated by 82.4% and 76.5% of the centers. The most common therapeutic scheme is cetuximab/FOLFIRI and diarrhea is the main cause of suspension/reduction of treatment. The 70% of centers use systemic tetracyclines for skin toxicity. The 23.5% of the centers do not carry out any geriatric evaluation before the start of the therapy and those who perform it prefer the G8 (70.6%) and VES-13 (29.4%) scales. Conclusions: Greater efforts should be made to improve the evaluation of the patient both about mutational and genetic procedures with geriatric evaluation. As for cetuximab in elderly patients, randomized studies are needed to provide guidance to physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1096
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Cetuximab
  • Elderly patients
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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