- 医療薬学 (ISSN:1346342X)
- vol.37, no.7, pp.403-409, 2011 (Released:2012-08-30)
Cetuximab, a therapeutic agent for metastatic colorectal cancer, is a chimeric monoclonal antibody that binds and inhibits the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Adverse events associated with cetuximab include skin disorders, which occur at a high incidence, infusion reactions, and electrolyte disorders, such as hypomagnesemia. The incidence and time of onset of hypomagnesemia following the start of cetuximab treatment were investigated retrospectively. The efficacy of oral magnesium preparations in preventing hypomagnesemia was also examined.At The Cancer Institute Hospital of Japanese Foundation For Cancer Research, the incidence of hypomagnesemia in patients treated with cetuximab was 39.3%. However, there was no clear trend in the time of onset. In addition, there was no difference in the incidence of hypomagnesemia as a function of whether oral magnesium preparations were administered (p=0.097). Some patients developed severe hypomagnesemia and an intravenous magnesium preparation was not very effective in bringing about recovery, necessitating discontinuation of cetuximab therapy.Mild hypomagnesemia may be overlooked because subjective symptoms are not readily apparent. However, if it worsens, hypomagnesemia may lead to serious adverse events, such as arrhythmias, which would require discontinuation of cetuximab treatment. In pa tients receiving cetuximab, therefore, serum magnesium levels must be monitored regularly since early detection and treatment of hypomagnesemia are very important.