Experimental Colon Cancer Drug Cetuximab Fails

An experimental study on Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers biotechnology drug cetuximab was stopped in between as the drug failed to show any benefits in treating patients with colon cancer.

They researchers said that adding cetuximab or Erbitux to the regular treatment drugs didn't help in reducing the effects of the disease.

Dr. Steven Alberts of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, released the details of the study at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago.

He said that the trial has proved to be crucial in many ways.

"First, it says what we learn in metastatic disease does not always apply to the adjuvant setting. It also indicates that disease in early stage may be different than in later stage", he said.

So, it became important to follow why the drug failed to work, he added. The study has followed the failure of Roche's drug Avastin for the treatment of colon cancer. However, both the drugs have been approved for sale in patients with advanced stage of cancer.

Erbitux is essentially a monoclonal antibody. It is an engineered form of a human protein which functions by blocking a chief cancer growth driver called epidermal growth factor receptor.