Amgen recently announced that the FDA has approved the use of Vectibix as a first-line treatment for colorectal cancer. Since 2006, Vectibix has been used as a second-line treatment and with this recent advancement, colorectal cancer patients now have an additional treatment option earlier in their diagnosis.
What is Vectibix?
Vectibix is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. Vectibix is grouped within a class of medications called biologics, which are therapies derived from human cells.
Who is Vectibix an option for?
Metastatic colorectal cancer patients with the wild-type (normal) KRAS gene are now approved to use Vectibix as a first-line therapy in combination with the drug FOLFOX for the treatment of cancer.
What is KRAS?
KRAS is the name of a gene that can be involved in forming cancer in the body and then helping the cancer to grow and spread. The KRAS gene is also known as a biomarker because it indicates how effective a type of drug is likely to be in a particular patient. Approximately 35-40% of all colorectal cancer patients have the KRAS mutation. Knowing whether a patient has wild-type (normal) or the mutated version of KRAS will help medical professionals determine what treatment plan is going to work best for the patient.
I have cancer and don’t know if I’ve been tested for KRAS. What should I do?
It is important to speak with your medical professional about getting an FDA-approved test that will detect your KRAS status. Depending on the results of the KRAS test, there are certain treatments that have been proven to be more effective. If your KRAS test determines you are wild-type (normal), then Vectibix may be a treatment option.
How is KRAS testing done?
KRAS analysis is done on sample tissue from tumors removed during surgery. The tissue samples are sent by your doctor to a lab that performs the test.
Will insurance cover the use of Vectibix in my treatment plan?
Yes, Vectibix is already an approved drug for use as a secondary-line treatment option. With the recent FDA approval of Vectibix as a first-line option, insurance will approve the expense per the guidelines of the individual’s health plan.
We’re here to help. Check out the original press release for more specifics about this new approval and pose your questions in the comments. We’ll do our best to get them answered! Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have questions or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030.