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Dermatologic and Soft Tissue Toxicity

In Study 1, dermatologic toxicities occurred in 90% of patients and were severe (NCI-CTC grade 3 and higher) in 16% of patients with mCRC receiving Vectibix. The clinical manifestations included, but were not limited to, dermatitis acneiform, pruritus, erythema, rash, skin exfoliation, paronychia, dry skin, and skin fissures.

Monitor patients who develop dermatologic or soft tissue toxicities while receiving Vectibix for the development of inflammatory or infectious sequelae. Life threatening and fatal infectious complications including necrotizing fasciitis, abscesses, and sepsis have been observed in patients treated with Vectibix. Withhold or discontinue Vectibix for dermatologic or soft tissue toxicity associated with severe or life-threatening inflammatory or infectious complications [see BOXED WARNING, and ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Dose modifications for Vectibix concerning dermatologic toxicity are provided [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Infusion Reactions

In Study 1, 4% of patients experienced infusion reactions and in 1% of patients, these reactions were graded as severe (NCI-CTC grade 3-4).

Infusion reactions, manifesting as anaphylactoid reactions, bronchospasm, and hypotension, can occur following Vectibix administration [see BOXED WARNING and ADVERSE REACTIONS]. In clinical studies, severe infusion reactions occurred with the administration of Vectibix in approximately 1% of patients. Fatal infusion reactions occurred in postmarketing experience. Terminate the infusion for severe infusion reactions [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Increased Mortality or Toxicity with Vectibix in Combination with Chemotherapy

Vectibix is not indicated for use in combination with chemotherapy.

In a randomized, open-label study enrolling 440 patients with KRAS mutation-positive mCRC; evaluating Vectibix in combination with infusional 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) compared to FOLFOX alone as first-line therapy for mCRC, shortened overall survival time was observed in the mutant KRAS mCRC population after 294 deaths (HR=1.24, 95% CI: 0.98-1.57).

In an interim analysis of Study 2, the addition of Vectibix to the combination of bevacizumab and chemotherapy resulted in decreased overall survival and increased incidence of NCI-CTC grade 3-5 (87% vs 72%) adverse reactions [see Clinical Studies]. NCI-CTC grade 3-4 adverse reactions occurring at a higher rate in Vectibixtreated patients included rash/dermatitis acneiform (26% vs 1%), diarrhea (23% vs 12%), dehydration (16% vs 5%), primarily occurring in patients with diarrhea, hypokalemia (10% vs 4%), stomatitis/mucositis (4% vs < 1%), and hypomagnesemia (4% vs 0).

NCI-CTC grade 3-5 pulmonary embolism occurred at a higher rate in Vectibix-treated patients (7% vs 4%) and included fatal events in three ( < 1%) Vectibix-treated patients.

As a result of the toxicities experienced, patients randomized to Vectibix, bevacizumab, and chemotherapy received a lower mean relative dose intensity of each chemotherapeutic agent (oxaliplatin, irinotecan, bolus 5-FU, and/or infusional 5-FU) over the first 24 weeks on study, compared with those randomized to bevacizumab and chemotherapy.

In a single-arm study of 19 patients receiving Vectibix in combination with IFL, the incidence of NCI-CTC grade 3-4 diarrhea was 58%; in addition, grade 5 diarrhea occurred in one patient. In a single-arm study of 24 patients receiving Vectibix plus FOLFIRI, the incidence of NCI-CTC grade 3 diarrhea was 25%.

Severe diarrhea and dehydration, which may lead to acute renal failure and other complications, have been observed in patients treated with Vectibix in combination with chemotherapy.

Pulmonary Fibrosis/Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)

Pulmonary fibrosis occurred in less than 1% (2/1467) of patients enrolled in clinical studies of Vectibix. Patients with a history or evidence of interstitial pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis, were excluded from most clinical trials. Therefore, the estimated risk in a general population that includes such patients is uncertain. Cases of ILD, including fatalities, have been reported in patients treated with Vectibix. Interrupt Vectibix therapy for the acute onset or worsening of pulmonary symptoms. Discontinue Vectibix therapy if ILD is confirmed.

Electrolyte Depletion/Monitoring

In Study 1, median magnesium levels decreased by 0.1 mmol/L in the Vectibix arm; hypomagnesemia (NCI-CTC grade 3 or 4) requiring oral or intravenous electrolyte repletion occurred in 2% of patients. Hypomagnesemia occurred 6 weeks or longer after the initiation of Vectibix. In some patients, both hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia occurred. Patients' electrolytes should be periodically monitored during and for 8 weeks after the completion of Vectibix therapy. Institute appropriate treatment, e.g., oral or intravenous electrolyte repletion, as needed.


Exposure to sunlight can exacerbate dermatologic toxicity. Advise patients to wear sunscreen and hats and limit sun exposure while receiving Vectibix.

Ocular Toxicities

Keratitis and ulcerative keratitis, known risk factors for corneal perforation, have been reported with Vectibix use. Monitor for evidence of keratitis or ulcerative keratitis. Interrupt or discontinue Vectibix therapy for acute or worsening keratitis.

EGF Receptor Testing

Detection of EGFR protein expression is necessary for selection of patients appropriate for Vectibix therapy because these are the only patients studied and for whom benefit has been shown [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and Clinical Studies]. Patients with colorectal cancer enrolled in Study 1 were required to have immunohistochemical evidence of EGFR expression using the Dako EGFR pharmDx® test kit.

Assessment for EGFR expression should be performed by laboratories with demonstrated proficiency in the specific technology being utilized. Improper assay performance, including use of suboptimally fixed tissue, failure to utilize specific reagents, deviation from specific assay instructions, and failure to include appropriate controls for assay validation can lead to unreliable results. Refer to the package insert for the Dako EGFR pharmDx® test kit, or other test kits approved by FDA, for identification of patients eligible for treatment with Vectibix and for full instructions on assay performance.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No carcinogenicity or mutagenicity studies of panitumumab have been conducted. It is not known if panitumumab can impair fertility in humans. Prolonged menstrual cycles and/or amenorrhea occurred in normally cycling, female cynomolgus monkeys treated weekly with 1.25 to 5 times the recommended human dose of panitumumab (based on body weight). Menstrual cycle irregularities in panitumumab-treated female monkeys were accompanied by both a decrease and delay in peak progesterone and 17β-estradiol levels. Normal menstrual cycling resumed in most animals after discontinuation of panitumumab treatment. A no-effect level for menstrual cycle irregularities and serum hormone levels was not identified. The effects of panitumumab on male fertility have not been studied. However, no adverse effects were observed microscopically in reproductive organs from male cynomolgus monkeys treated for 26 weeks with panitumumab at doses of up to approximately 5-fold the recommended human dose (based on body weight).

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no studies of Vectibix in pregnant women. Reproduction studies in cynomolgus monkeys treated with 1.25 to 5 times the recommended human dose of panitumumab resulted in significant embryolethality and abortions; however, no other evidence of teratogenesis was noted in offspring [see Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology]. Vectibix should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Based on animal models, EGFR is involved in prenatal development and may be essential for normal organogenesis, proliferation, and differentiation in the developing embryo. Human IgG is known to cross the placental barrier; therefore, panitumumab may be transmitted from the mother to the developing fetus, and has the potential to cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women.

Women who become pregnant during Vectibix treatment are encouraged to enroll in Amgen's Pregnancy Surveillance Program. Patients or their physicians should call 1-800-772-6436 (1-800-77-AMGEN) to enroll.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether panitumumab is excreted into human milk; however, human IgG is excreted into human milk. Published data suggest that breast milk antibodies do not enter the neonatal and infant circulation in substantial amounts. Because many drugs are excreted into human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Vectibix, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. If nursing is interrupted, based on the mean half-life of panitumumab, nursing should not be resumed earlier than 2 months following the last dose of Vectibix [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of Vectibix have not been established in pediatric patients. The pharmacokinetic profile of Vectibix has not been studied in pediatric patients.

Geriatric Use

Of 229 patients with mCRC who received Vectibix in Study 1, 96 (42%) were ≥ 65 years old. Although the clinical study did not include a sufficient number of geriatric patients to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients, there were no apparent differences in safety and effectiveness of Vectibix between these patients and younger patients.

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/15/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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