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Cetuximab + Best Supportive Care Compared With Best Supportive Care Alone in Metastatic Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Positive Colorectal Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00079066
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 9, 2004
Last Update Posted : April 6, 2020
Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Canadian Cancer Trials Group ( NCIC Clinical Trials Group )

Brief Summary:

RATIONALE: Monoclonal antibodies, such as cetuximab, can target tumor cells and either kill them or deliver tumor-killing substances to them without harming normal cells. Best supportive care is the use of drugs and other treatments to improve the quality of life of patients. Combining cetuximab with best supportive care may slow the growth of the tumor and help patients live longer and more comfortably. It is not yet known whether cetuximab combined with best supportive care is more effective than best supportive care alone in treating metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor-positive colorectal cancer.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying cetuximab and best supportive care to see how well they work compared to best supportive care alone in treating patients with metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor-positive colorectal cancer.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Colorectal Cancer Quality of Life Biological: cetuximab Procedure: quality-of-life assessment Phase 3

Detailed Description:



  • Compare survival of patients with metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor-positive colorectal cancer treated with cetuximab and best supportive care vs best supportive care alone.


  • Compare the time to disease progression in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the objective response rate in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the quality of life of patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the health utilities of patients treated with these regimens.
  • Conduct a comparative economic evaluation in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Determine the safety profile of cetuximab in these patients.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, open-label, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to participating center and ECOG performance status (0 or 1 vs 2). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients receive an initial loading dose of cetuximab IV over 120 minutes on day 1. Patients continue to receive maintenance infusions of cetuximab IV over 60 minutes weekly. Patients also receive best supportive care, defined as measures designed to provide palliation of symptoms and improve quality of life as much as possible.
  • Arm II: Patients receive best supportive care as in arm I. In both arms, treatment continues in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Quality of life is assessed at baseline, and then at 4, 8, 16, and 24 weeks (or until deterioration to ECOG PS 4 or hospitalization for end-of-life care).

Patients are followed every 4 weeks.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 500 patients (250 per treatment arm) will be accrued for this study within 20 months.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 572 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase III Randomized Study of Cetuximab (Erbitux™, C225) and Best Supportive Care Versus Best Supportive Care in Patients With Pretreated Metastatic Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)-Positive Colorectal Carcinoma
Actual Study Start Date : August 28, 2003
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 3, 2006
Actual Study Completion Date : February 10, 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Drug Information available for: Cetuximab

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Overall survival

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Time to progression
  2. Objective response rate
  3. Quality of life by European Organization for Research of the Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire -C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30)
  4. Health utilities by Health Utilities Index 13 (HU 13)
  5. Economic evaluation
  6. Safety profile

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   16 Years to 120 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed colorectal cancer

    • Metastatic disease
  • Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive by immunochemistry
  • Measurable or evaluable disease
  • Not amenable to standard curative therapy

    • Best supportive care is the only available option
  • Must have received a prior thymidylate synthase inhibitor (e.g., fluorouracil, capecitabine, raltitrexed, or fluorouracil-uracil) in the adjuvant or metastatic setting

    • Combination therapy with oxaliplatin or irinotecan allowed
  • Must have failed* a prior regimen containing irinotecan and a prior regimen containing oxaliplatin for metastatic disease OR relapsed within 6 months after an adjuvant regimen containing irinotecan or oxaliplatin OR have documented unsuitability for such regimens
  • No symptomatic CNS metastases NOTE: *Failure is defined as either disease progression (clinical or radiological) or intolerance to the regimen



  • 16 and over

Performance status

  • ECOG 0-2

Life expectancy

  • Not specified


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • Absolute granulocyte count ≥ 1,500/mm^3
  • Platelet count ≥ 75,000/mm^3
  • Hemoglobin ≥ 8.0 g/dL


  • AST and ALT ≤ 5 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Bilirubin ≤ 2.5 times ULN


  • Creatinine ≤ 1.5 times ULN


  • No uncontrolled angina
  • No arrhythmias
  • No cardiomyopathy
  • No congestive heart failure
  • No myocardial infarction* within the past 6 months NOTE: *Pre-treatment ECG as only evidence of infarction is allowed


  • No severe restrictive lung disease
  • No interstitial lung disease by chest x-ray


  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception for 4 weeks before, during, and for 4 weeks after study treatment
  • No active pathological condition that would preclude study participation
  • No psychological or geographical condition that would preclude study compliance
  • No other malignancy within the past 5 years except adequately treated non-melanoma skin cancer or carcinoma in situ of the cervix


Biologic therapy

  • No prior cetuximab
  • No prior murine monoclonal antibody therapy (e.g., edrecolomab)


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • At least 4 weeks since prior chemotherapy and recovered
  • No concurrent chemotherapy


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • At least 4 weeks since prior radiotherapy and recovered
  • Concurrent palliative radiotherapy allowed except to index lesions


  • At least 4 weeks since prior major surgery and recovered


  • No prior EGFR-targeted therapy (e.g., erlotinib or gefitinib)
  • More than 30 days since prior experimental therapeutic agents
  • More than 4 weeks since prior investigational agents
  • No concurrent enrollment in another clinical study
  • No other concurrent EGFR-targeted therapy
  • No other concurrent non-cytotoxic experimental agents

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00079066

Show Show 33 study locations
Sponsors and Collaborators
NCIC Clinical Trials Group
Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group
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Study Chair: Derek Jonker, MD Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre
Study Chair: Chris Karapetis, MD National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia
Publications of Results:
Jonker DJ, Karapetis C, Harbison C, et al.: High epiregulin (EREG) gene expression plus K-ras wild-type (WT) status as predictors of cetuximab benefit in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer (ACRC): results from NCIC CTG CO.17-A phase III trial of cetuximab versus best supportive care (BSC).. [Abstract] J Clin Oncol 27 (Suppl 15): A-4016, 2009.
Mittmann N, Au HJ, Tu D, et al.: A prospective economic analysis of cost-effectiveness of cetuximab for metastatic colorectal cancer patients from the NCIC CTG and AGITG CO.17 trial. [Abstract] J Clin Oncol 26 (Suppl 15): A-6528, 2008.
O'Callaghan CJ, Tu D, Karapetis CS, et al.: The relationship between the development of rash and clinical and quality of life outcomes in colorectal cancer patients treated with cetuximab in NCIC CTG CO.17. [Abstract] J Clin Oncol 26 (Suppl 15): A-4130, 2008.
Jonker DJ, Karapetis CS, Moore M, et al.: Randomized phase III trial of cetuximab monotherapy plus best supportive care (BSC) versus BSC alone in patients with pretreated metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive colorectal carcinoma: a trial of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) and the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG). [Abstract] American Association for Cancer Research: 98th Annual Meeting, April 14-18, 2007, Los Angeles, CA. 2007.

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: NCIC Clinical Trials Group Identifier: NCT00079066    
Other Study ID Numbers: CO17
CAN-NCIC-CO17 ( Other Identifier: PDQ )
AGITG-CAN-NCIC-CO17 ( Other Identifier: AGITG )
BMS-CA225-025 ( Other Identifier: Bristol-Myers Squibb )
IMCL-CAN-NCIC-CO17 ( Other Identifier: ImClone Systems Incorporated )
CDR0000353486 ( Other Identifier: PDQ )
First Posted: March 9, 2004    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 6, 2020
Last Verified: April 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Canadian Cancer Trials Group ( NCIC Clinical Trials Group ):
quality of life
stage IV colon cancer
recurrent colon cancer
recurrent rectal cancer
stage IV rectal cancer
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Colorectal Neoplasms
Intestinal Neoplasms
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Colonic Diseases
Intestinal Diseases
Rectal Diseases
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Antineoplastic Agents