Publications : 2019

Bylsma LC, Dean RGK, Lowe K, Sangaré L, Alexander D, Fryzek J. 2019. The incidence of infusion reactions associated with monoclonal antibody drugs targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor in metastatic colorectal cancer patients: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis of patient and study characteristics. Cancer Med Aug 3, doi: 10.1002/cam4.2413 [Epub ahead of print].



Systemic cancer therapies may induce infusion reactions (IRs) or hypersensitivities. Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients treated with anti-EGFR therapies, including cetuximab and panitumumab, may be subject to these reactions. We conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the IR incidence in this population and identify variations in this incidence by patient or study characteristics.


A systematic review was conducted to identify observational studies or clinical trials of mCRC patients treated with anti-EGFR therapies that reported occurrences of IRs, hypersensitivity, or allergy/anaphylaxis. The objective of the study was to estimate the incidence of IRs. Random effects models were used to meta-analyze the incidence of IRs overall and stratified by therapy type, study design, geographic location, RAS or KRAS mutation status, grade of reaction severity, and terminology used to describe the reaction.


The pooled estimate for IR incidence was 4.9% (95% confidence interval: 3.6%-6.5%). Lower-grade reactions were more common than higher-grade reactions overall and the incidence of reactions among cetuximab patients was nearly four times that of panitumumab patients (6.1% vs 1.6%).


IRs occur in approximately 5% of mCRC patients treated with anti-EGFR therapies, and the incidence varies significantly by grade of severity and therapy type. Studies evaluating these outcomes should consider investigating survival outcomes by IR status to determine its prognostic relevance.