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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Colon Cancer, Version 1.2017

Cetuximab is given by infusion, usually once a

week or every other week. It may take 2 hours to

receive the first dose. Later doses will take only

1 hour. Cetuximab may be given with or without


Some people have an infusion reaction to cetuximab.

Symptoms of a reaction include chills and fever. If

you have a reaction, you will be given cetuximab

more slowly.

Besides a reaction, common side effects of

cetuximab include an acne-like rash, infections,

mouth sores, and feeling tired and weak. Other

possible side effects are nausea, diarrhea,

trouble sleeping, swelling of feet, and lower blood

magnesium levels. Rare but serious side effects

include heart, lung, eye, or kidney damage.


Panitumumab is the same type of drug as cetuximab.

However, it does somewhat differ from cetuximab

in its structure. It works much like cetuximab by

attaching to EGFRs and attracting immune cells.

Panitumumab is given by IV infusion over 1 hour

every other week. It may be given with or without


Panitumumab rarely causes infusional reactions.

Common side effects include skin rash, diarrhea,

feeling tired, constipation, and lower blood

magnesium levels. Rare but serious side effects

include lung and eye damage and blood clots in the



Overview of cancer treatments

Targeted therapy

Figure 12

EGFR targeted therapy

Some colon cancers consist of

cells with too many or overactive

EGFRs. EGFRs trigger growth

signals with cancer cells.

Cetuximab and panitumumab

block EGF from attaching to

EGFR and turning it on.

cancer cell





Copyright © 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network