Topic: Cetuximab (Erbitux) and Gemzar in the UK

Is there anyone that has had experience of the above combination in the UK?  Due to reading about the improved CA19-9 results on this site after using the combination it is something that we really want my dad to have however he was recently told that funding was not available due to there not being enough positive research.  We want to fight for this combination and it would be really helpful if we could find out if there is anyone being treated for CC in the UK using this combination.


Re: Cetuximab (Erbitux) and Gemzar in the UK

Dear Cambell_Zoe,

My dad is currently on this regimen.  His protocol is as follows,

Erbitux (CETUXIMAB, C225)

he has three weeks of this (once each week), with the 3rd week having a double dose of ERBITUX, then one weeks rest, before starting again.

Before he was on Oxaliplatin / Leucorvin / 5FU, but that was not working very well.  Before starting this regimen, his CA 19-9 marker was at 1450, but after one cycle (3 treatments), CA19-9 dropped to 134.  He has had another cycle and we will continue to monitor tumor markers / and MRI later this month.

This regimen has some minor side effects, acne like rash (but apparently the more you have the better response), fever, hiccups, general weakness.  Usually for 2 days after chemo, my father has these symptoms and by the 4th day he is back to normal.  This protocol was recommended by our oncologist, but also as in the UK, our insurance does not cover any costs.  Will update MRI results in due course and best of luck.

Re: Cetuximab (Erbitux) and Gemzar in the UK

Thanks very much for the information.

Would you be able to let me know the name of the hospital and the consultant / doctor's name as we are trying to contact as many people as possible to find out about this drug.

Thank you and i hope your father continues to do well and that his results continue to be positive.

Re: Cetuximab (Erbitux) and Gemzar in the UK

Hi Campbell Zoe,

Erbitux unfortunatley is very expensive and not many insurance covers this medication.  Our national health insurance does not cover it, so it is fully self funded.  We are now also going to add Avastin to the treatment, and will respond in due course on how that responds.

Best Wishes to you and your dad.

Re: Cetuximab (Erbitux) and Gemzar in the UK

My husband was treated in the UK (The Royal Free and UCH in London) and it is almost impossible to get any 'new' treatments for cc. There are too few cases in the UK (600 per year) so there is no research info for NICE to approve specific drugs. If you want this treatment then I would say your chances of getting it on the NHS are nil or less.  I think you would have to work with a private oncologist who is prepared to get it from the States.
Sorry not to have something more positive to contribute,