Colorectal Cancer Mabs

Another monoclonal antibody, i.e. "MAb", has been approved by the US Food & Drug guys for the treatment of chemo-resistant metastatic colorectal cancer. This time, its Amgen's panitumumab (Vectibix), a purely human MAb that's priced to give ImClone's cetuximab (Erbitux) a run for the money.  Priced to cost 20% less, its "just" a Filipino-sized US$ 7000 per month for those who may have already failed a gamut of chemo options.

How best to tell folks with the right to know? My patients are well above average in our economic totem pole, yet only 2/3 of them can afford the costs of plain old FOLFOX6 chemo. I wonder what its like to be told that one's disease is back yet again, to know that there's a new fast-tracked targeted therapy for slowing it down, & then to agonize over whether one should sell more stocks or the children's future to avail of it.

To the Powers-that-be… Never mind the MAbs for now. Maybe just a national information & screening program that actually works.

Previous Comments

good day sir!
I’m Nina Bumanglag, a student at UPLB taking up biology. I’ll be having an undergraduate seminar regarding colorectal cancer next year on january 2007.
I was hoping if I could ask for your help about what sort of treatments your patients undertake, the most common and the likely reasons for chooisng it. Your insights would really help with the seminar I am about to undertake.
Thank you Sir and God Bless!
Nina Bumanglag
Posted by nina bumanglag at December 18, 2006, 9:12 am

Hello, Nina. Its a very broad topic. Management would depend upon whether its the colon or rectum that’s affected, the stage, the presenting symptoms, co-morbidities, etc. In fact, even in specialty fora, it helps when discussions are case-based.
Best look at the simplified algorithms for patients. For evidence-based info, look here–> http://www.nccn.org/default.asp
Posted by oncodoc at December 18, 2006, 1:12 pm

hello sir!
I’m a student doing research on colon cancer and its preventive medicines. I was just wondering if you happen to know the rate of colon cancer incidences in the philippines and who are the people commonly “attacked” by this type of cancer.
thank you and god bless!
Posted by ethel at January 16, 2007, 7:46 pm

Online sources for stats include Globocan (2002) at the IARC website. The DOH puts out stats as well. Beware of under-reporting– its a serious consideration hereabouts.
As to risk factors for colon cancer specific to the Philippine population, I’m not aware of any local population-based study in this area. Maybe you can do one. Western medical literature has extensive coverage of risk, however, and you can freely access the information online in both “health professional” and “patient” versions. (See “Links”)
Posted by oncodoc at January 16, 2007, 11:14 pm

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