Skip to main content

FDA says some cancer drugs not effective in treating colon cancer


NEW YORK People with some genetic make-ups might not experience any improvement with some cancer drugs, and the Food and Drug Administration may soon require drug makers to mention this in prescribing information.

Officials from the agency will meet Tuesday to determine whether healthcare professionals should look for the KRAS gene mutation before prescribing two drugs for colon cancer, Erbitux (cetuximab), by Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Amgen’s Vectibix (panitumumab). People who have the gene will not experience any effect from the drugs, which can cost up to $10,000 per month. Both drugs are biologics that belong to the class known as monoclonal antibodies.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 150,000 people have colon cancer, of whom about 40 percent have the KRAS mutation.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds