Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced that Erbitux (cetuximab) demonstrated a significant improvement in overall survival (OS) when added to standard 1st-line chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients with KRAS wild-type tumors. This is the first time an OS benefit has been demonstrated with an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-inhibitor in this disease setting. These results from the pivotal CRYSTALa trial were presented at the joint 15th Congress of the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) and 34th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) held in Berlin, Germany this week.
“Overall survival is a critically important outcome in metastatic colorectal cancer so it is extremely rewarding to achieve this result for the first time with an EGFR targeted therapy added to a standard chemotherapy,” commented Professor Eric Van Cutsem, principal investigator of the CRYSTAL study and Professor of Medicine and Digestive Oncology from the University Hospital Gasthuisberg in Leuven, Belgium. “We are excited to be the first to demonstrate this with Erbitux – a result that has the potential to significantly extend the lives of patients with KRAS wild-type tumors.”