Certain factors will affect the cetuximab dose your healthcare provider prescribes, including your body surface area and how well you tolerate the medication. Treatment generally lasts until potentially serious side effects occur or until the cancer no longer responds to treatment. Cetuximab is given by infusion into a vein over a period of one to two hours, once a week.
An Introduction to Your Dosage of CetuximabThe dose of cetuximab (Erbitux®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on:
- The reason you are using it
- Your height and weight
- Other medications you are taking
- How well you tolerate the medication.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Cetuximab Dosing for Head and Neck CancerThe standard dosage of cetuximab for the treatment of squamous cell cancer of the head and neck is based on body surface area, which is normally calculated using height and weight. Dosing that is based on body surface area is expressed as milligrams per meter squared, or mg per m2.
The specific recommended dosage of cetuximab is 400 mg per m2 in the first week, followed by 250 mg per m2 each week of treatment thereafter.
If you are receiving cetuximab in addition to radiation treatment, you will be given your first dosage one week before starting radiation. Subsequent doses will be given so that the dose is complete one hour before radiation. Treatment will continue for the remainder of radiation therapy (normally six or seven weeks).
If you are receiving cetuximab in addition to platinum-based chemotherapy (cisplatin or carboplatin) and fluorouracil (Adrucil®, Carac®, Efudex®, Fluoroplex®, also known as 5-FU), you will receive your platinum-based chemotherapy and 5-FU one hour after cetuximab. Treatment will continue until the cancer no longer appears to be responding or until potentially serious side effects occur.