International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 713–721

Cetuximab-based therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of the effect of K-ras mutations

  • Ezzeldin M. Ibrahim
  • Jamal M. Zekri
  • Bakr M. Bin Sadiq
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00384-010-0927-4

Cite this article as:
Ibrahim, E.M., Zekri, J.M. & Bin Sadiq, B.M. Int J Colorectal Dis (2010) 25: 713. doi:10.1007/s00384-010-0927-4



Cetuximab has a favorable effect on patients with metastatic colorectal cancer harboring wild K-ras gene. This meta-analysis was planned to quantify the benefit.


A meta-analysis of clinical studies that have used cetuximab-based therapy (CBT) for patients with known K-ras status.


There were four randomized studies (RS) that compared CBT versus non-cetuximab control (NCC) in 2,292 patients, and six non-randomized studies (NRS) included patients received cetuximab after failure of prior chemotherapy (411 patients). Patients in RS with wild K-ras tumor gained more benefit from CBT vs. NCC. For response rate (RR), the odds ratio was 2.10 (p = 0.0002), while the hazard ratio (HR) for progression-free survival (PFS) was 0.64 (p = 0.04). On the other hand, CBT was associated with an adverse effect on RR and no effect on PFS in mutated K-ras. In all patients who received CBT in RS and NRS, those with wild vs. mutated K-ras demonstrated higher RR (odds ratio 3.72; p < 0.0001). Compared with NCC in three RS, CBT showed significant overall survival (OS) advantage in patients with wild K-ras (HR = 0.68; p = 0.01).


The significant clinical benefit of CBT concerning RR, PFS, and OS was restricted to patients with wild-type K-ras. There is a need to better define potential responders to CBT.


Colorectal cancer Metastatic Cetuximab EGFR K-ras 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ezzeldin M. Ibrahim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jamal M. Zekri
    • 1
  • Bakr M. Bin Sadiq
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of OncologyKing Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research CenterJeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.Research CenterKing Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research CenterJeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia

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