International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 997–1004 | Cite as

Resectability and outcome with anti-EGFR agents in patients with KRAS wild-type colorectal liver-limited metastases: a meta-analysis

  • F. Petrelli
  • S. Barni
  • Anti-EGFR agents for liver metastases



Cetuximab (C) and panitumumab (P) increase response rate and survival in KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). We performed a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to assess their effect on overall response rate (ORR), the rate of radical resection (R0) and survival in patients with liver-limited initially unresectable mCRC.

Materials and methods

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for RCTs comparing first-line chemotherapy plus or minus C or P and reporting data in patients with KRAS wild-type, unresectable liver-limited mCRC. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence interval were calculated. Meta-analysis of hazard ratios (HRs) for progression-free and overall survival (PFS and OS) was also performed.


Four RCTs involving 484 KRAS wild-type patients were included. Compared to chemotherapy alone, the addition of C or P significantly increased the ORR (RR 1.67, p = 0.0001), the R0 resection rate from 11% to 18% (RR 1.59, p = 0.04) and PFS (HR 0.68, p = 0.002), but not OS (p = 0.42).


The addition of C and P increased the R0 resection rate by 60% and reduced the risk of progression by 32% in patients with mCRC and unresectable liver-limited disease. This combination represents one of the preferred choices as conversion therapy in KRAS wild-type patients with unresectable liver metastases.


Cetuximab Panitumumab Liver metastases Colorectal cancer KRAS wild type 


Conflict of interest

All authors disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations which could inappropriately influence (bias) their work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Petrelli
    • 1
  • S. Barni
    • 1
  • Anti-EGFR agents for liver metastases
  1. 1.Medical Oncology Unit, Oncology departmentAzienda Ospedaliera Treviglio CaravaggioTreviglioItaly

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