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Biological therapy


Approved biological therapies for colorectal cancer

  • Cyramza (Ramucirumab)

    Cyramza is a biologic drug that is administered by intravenous infusion. It is an angiogenesis inhibitor, and similar to bevacizumab (Avastin), this drug hinders new blood vessel growth so that the blood supply that usually sustains tumor growth is blocked. Cyramza is used with FOLFIRI to treat metastatic colorectal cancer when the cancer continues to progress during or after other treatments.

    FDA APPROVED

    2014

    COMMON SIDE EFFECTS

    • Diarrhea
    • Nosebleeds
    • Loss of Appetite
    • Inflammation of the Mouth
    • Low white blood cell count (neutropenia)
  • Avastin (Bevacizumab)

    Avastin is a tumor-starving (or anti-angiogenic) biologic therapy. Cancers need blood in order to grow. To get enough blood, tumors tell the body to grow new blood vessels. Angiogenesis inhibitors block this process. Avastin blocks a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. Normal cells produce VEGF, but some cancer cells overproduce VEGF. Blocking VEGF may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors.

    Avastin is administered through an injection every two weeks in combination with other chemotherapies.

    FDA APPROVED

    2004

    COMMON SIDE EFFECTS

    • Loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Dry skin/skin inflammation
    • Back pain
    • Headache
    • Taste change
    • Fertility issues
    • High blood pressure
  • Stivarga (Regorafenib)

    Regorafenib is a chemotherapy drug typically taken in pill form and works to block the production of certain proteins necessary for cancer growth. It is designed to treat patients with metastatic colon cancer whose cancer has continued to advance after approved standard therapies.

    FDA APPROVED

    2012

    COMMON SIDE EFFECTS

    • Diarrhea
    • Loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting
    • Mouth sores
    • Pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, blistering, or peeling skin on your hands or feet (hand-foot syndrome)
    • Rashes
    • Bleeding
  • Erbitux (Cetuximab)

    Erbitux slows cancer growth by targeting a protein found on the surface of some cells called the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). EGFR plays a role in cell growth and is present in about 75% of colon cancers.

    FDA APPROVED

    2004

    COMMON SIDE EFFECTS

    • Loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Dry skin, acne and/or rashes
    • Itching
    • Body aches
  • Vectibix (Panitumumab)

    Vectibix slows cancer growth by targeting a protein found on the surface of some cells called the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). EGFR plays a role in cell growth and is present in about 75% of colon cancers.

    FDA APPROVED

    2006

    COMMON SIDE EFFECTS

    • Loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Dry skin, acne and/or rashes
    • Itching
    • Body aches

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