A phase 2 study of cetuximab in combination with docetaxel in chemotherapy-refractory/resistant patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer




Cetuximab in combination with docetaxel was examined in chemotherapy-refractory/resistant patients with advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to determine response rate, survival, safety, and pharmacokinetics (PK).


Patients had evidence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression (≥1 +) and tumor progression during or disease recurrence within 3 months after chemotherapy. Cetuximab was administered weekly (400 mg/m2 initial; 250 mg/m2 thereafter). Docetaxel was administered every 3 weeks (75 mg/m2). A response in 3 of the first 21 patients was required to continue accrual to the target sample size of 50 patients.


Confirmed responses included 1 complete response (1.8%), 10 partial responses (18.2%), and 20 with stable disease (36.4%). The response rate was 20% (95% confidence interval [CI], 10.4% to 33.0%) and median time to disease progression was 104 days. There were no differences in PK parameters of docetaxel alone or with cetuximab. The most common grade 3 of 4 adverse events were leukopenia (27.3%) and acne (21.8%). Four patients (7.3%) discontinued due to allergic reaction. The median overall survival (OS) was 7.5 months with a 1-year survival of 35%.


Cetuximab in combination with docetaxel was well tolerated. The response rate supports more definitive evaluation of this combination in the second-line setting. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.