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Erbitux offers hope to head and neck cancer patients


Merck Serono have announced results from two surveys which further support the revolutionary role Erbitux (cetuximab) continues to have in the treatment of head and neck cancer.

Data from two key surveys, presented at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, show that Erbitux is a standard of care and preferred partner in both LA SCCHN and 1st line R/M SCCHN.

“Erbitux has been valuable in advancing the treatment of head and neck cancer by enhancing symptom relief and extending life in the metastatic setting, and even providing some locally advanced patients with a chance for cure,” said Professor Jean-Louis Lefebvre, Chairman of the European Head and Neck Cancer Society (EHNS) and survey co-investigator.

The results from the patient-record-based survey of 256 specialists in France, Germany, Italy and Spain in the R/M setting showed that, in 2009, an Erbitux-based treatment combination was used to treat almost 60% of cases of R/M SCCHN in the 1st line setting. These findings reflect the impact of the pivotal Phase III EXTREME trial on everyday clinical practice. EXTREME, published in 2008, demonstrated the first significantimprovement in overall survival in SCCHN in 30 years and Erbitux remains the only targeted therapy to offer this benefit in 1st line R/M SCCHN.

A similar survey of patient records conducted in the LA SCCHN setting, revealed:

  • Use of Erbitux treatment from 2006-2009 increased from 9.1% to 35.7%
  • Erbitux has evolved to become a standard treatment
  • The combination of Erbitux and radiotherapy continues to replace chemo-radiotherapy as the preferredstandard treatment in LA SCCHN

“These new findings clearly show that more and more physicians are convinced by the data for Erbitux in the treatment of SCCHN and are changing the way they treat the disease. Erbitux’s position as one of the most significant innovations in this disease in over 30 years is now unquestionable,” said Dr Wolfgang Wein, Executive Vice President for Oncology at Merck Serono.

Merck Serono

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