Patient-tailored treatments with anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies in advanced colorectal cancer: KRAS and beyond

A. Ballestrero, A. Garuti, G. Cirmena, I. Rocco, C. Palermo, A. Nencioni, S. Scabini, G. Zoppoli, S. Parodi, F. Patrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Personalized medicine emphasizes the practice of considering individual patient characteristics as opposed to that centered on standards derived from epidemiological studies which, by definition, do not take into account the variability of individuals within a given population. When applied to oncology, personalized medicine is an even more complex concept because it extends the variability beyond the individual patient to the individual tumor. Indeed, the great genotypic and phenotypic variability (both in primary and metastatic sites of cancer) the development of targeted therapies, and the growing availability of biological assays complicate the scenario of personalized medicine in the oncological field. In this paper we review the results of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in the context of tumor biology, delineating the future prospects of patient-tailored medicine in this area. In particular, we deal with EGFR inhibition by Cetuximab, a chimeric mouse human IgG1 mAb, and panitumumab, a fully human IgG2 mAb. We discuss the clinical impact of anti-EGFR mAbs on wild-type (WT) KRAS mCRC, also taking into account the feasibility of novel multi-marker approaches to treatment decision-making, aimed at increasing the predictive power of pre-therapy biomarkers. Experimental topics and fields of ongoing research, such as targeting microRNAs (miRNAs) with novel anticancer drugs and epigenetics in CRC are also addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-328
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Cancer Drug Targets
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Colorectal cancer
  • EGFR
  • KRAS
  • Molecular targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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