Necitumumab in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer: clinical controversies

Vincenzo di Noia, Ettore D'Argento, Sara Pilotto, Giulia Grizzi, Mario Caccese, Roberto Iacovelli, Giampaolo Tortora, Emilio Bria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Over the last decade, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling was investigated as a potential target for tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Necitumumab is a fully humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody directed against the binding domain of EGFR, approved in combination with cisplatin–gemcitabine for the first-line treatment of squamous NSCLC. Areas covered: The purpose of this manuscript is to systematically review the state of the art of necitumumab for the treatment of metastatic NSCLC, focusing on predictive factors, cost-effectiveness, and future potential combinations with additional agents. Expert opinion: Despite recent therapeutic advances, platinum-based chemotherapy still represents the most widely used first-line treatment for advanced NSCLC, particularly for the squamous histotype. Necitumumab is nowadays the first targeted agent providing an (statistically significant) additional survival gain to squamous NSCLC patients when combined with first-line chemotherapy at the cost of an increased (although manageable) toxicity, as shown in the SQUIRE trial. Hopefully, improvement in patients’ selection by identifying reliable predictive markers and the combination with new agents may help to maximize the benefit of this targeted treatment, which is currently limited by a not optimal cost–benefit ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-945
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2 2018


  • EGFR
  • monoclonal antibody
  • Necitumumab
  • squamous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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