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Colon Health Alert: FDA Approves First-Line Use of Vectibix®

Posted on May 28, 2014

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Amgen recently announced that the FDA has approved the use of Vectibix as a first-line treatment for colorectal cancer. Since 2006, Vectibix has been used as a second-line treatment and with this recent advancement, colorectal cancer patients now have an additional treatment option earlier in their diagnosis.

What is Vectibix?

Vectibix is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. Vectibix is grouped within a class of medications called biologics, which are therapies derived from human cells.

Who is Vectibix an option for?

Metastatic colorectal cancer patients with the wild-type (normal) KRAS gene are now approved to use Vectibix as a first-line therapy in combination with the drug FOLFOX for the treatment of cancer.

Amgen Oncology  2What is KRAS?

KRAS is the name of a gene that can be involved in forming cancer in the body and then helping the cancer to grow and spread. The KRAS gene is also known as a biomarker because it indicates how effective a type of drug is likely to be in a particular patient. Approximately 35-40% of all colorectal cancer patients have the KRAS mutation. Knowing whether a patient has wild-type (normal) or the mutated version of KRAS will help medical professionals determine what treatment plan is going to work best for the patient.

I have cancer and don’t know if I’ve been tested for KRAS. What should I do?

It is important to speak with your medical professional about getting an FDA-approved test that will detect your KRAS status. Depending on the results of the KRAS test, there are certain treatments that have been proven to be more effective. If your KRAS test determines you are wild-type (normal), then Vectibix may be a treatment option.

How is KRAS testing done?

KRAS analysis is done on sample tissue from tumors removed during surgery. The tissue samples are sent by your doctor to a lab that performs the test.

Will insurance cover the use of Vectibix in my treatment plan?

Yes, Vectibix is already an approved drug for use as a secondary-line treatment option. With the recent FDA approval of Vectibix as a first-line option, insurance will approve the expense per the guidelines of the individual’s health plan.

Questions? 

We’re here to help. Check out the original press release for more specifics about this new approval and pose your questions in the comments. We’ll do our best to get them answered! Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have questions or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. 

The Colon Cancer Alliance provides patients and the general public with vital information about colorectal cancer, its prevention and treatment. These Colon Health Alerts are sent whenever there is approval of new treatments or devices, significant advances in research or other timely and relevant updates related to the Colon Cancer Alliance mission. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the Colon Cancer Alliance. The information provided in this Alert is designed to help empower patients and does not replace the direct relationship between patients and health professionals. Patients should not make any healthcare decisions based on information in this Alert without first contacting your physician or healthcare professional.

7 Responses to “Colon Health Alert: FDA Approves First-Line Use of Vectibix®”

  1. Velora LaMunyon says:

    I am Velora’s husband and caretaker. She has been fighting Stage four colorectal cancer for 2 1/2 years. In October 2013 a CT scan showed no cancer, however a recent CT scan shows cancer has returned. Her KRAS is 19.5. She has recently started chemo again and they are giving her Fullfiri plus a low dose of 5FU.

  2. Harry Follick says:

    My question is about the KRAS gene. There seem to be two variations- one is the wild type which is normal. The other is the mutated type. It says that the drug Vectibix is used for the normal type.
    So is the KRAS gene cancer causing even in the normal variation?
    What is confusing is that I think when we say normal that it is not cancer causing. But perhaps any time the KRAS gene is present it causes cancer whether in normal or mutated form?

    • Vonny Manna says:

      The KRAS gene contains coding for cell growth and division. Like all genes, it has an on/off switch. In the wild type or normal KRAS gene, this switch can turn on or off for cell growth and division activity. In the mutant or abnormal KRAS gene, this on/off switch is permanently stuck in the “on” position. For this reason, the mutant version of this gene does not respond well to biologic drugs like Victibix, which are designed to turn the switch “off.” I hope all of that makes sense!

  3. I am almost two years out from my last tx for colorectal cancer. I had 27 nodes neg for mets. Should I ask my Onc Dr if now this far out if I should take this?

  4. I am sorry if you have received this twice, but I am not sure you receicved this from my Ipad.

    I am 2 months away from my 2 year anniversary of finishing chemo etc for colorectal cancer.

    All 27 nodes were negative………thank God!

    Do you recommend that I take this drug?

    Anything for life…..beyond cancer!

    God Bless You All!

  5. I have not been teated for the KRAS………should I ask my oncologist to do this test?

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