Cetuximab therapy in first-line metastatic colorectal cancer and intermittent palliative chemotherapy: review of the COIN trial.
Adams R., Meade A., Wasan H., Griffiths G., Maughan T.
The aim of palliative chemotherapy is to increase survival whilst maintaining maximum quality of life for the individual concerned. It is evident that the survival advantage offered by palliative chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer has increased incrementally with the addition of each newly licensed therapeutic agent. More recently, advances in the field have led to the introduction of targeted monoclonal antibodies, whose benefits are documented in clinical trials and are acknowledged in their approval and licensing. Whilst we are continuing to explore the optimum use of the more traditional chemotherapy agents, with respect to both quantity and quality of life, these novel agents are battling to find their optimum place in the armamentarium. It is evident that a continuing add-one-in policy is likely to be detrimental to both patient and budget. Defining the positioning and duration of these combination therapies has become the subject of much debate and numerous current clinical trials. The Medical Research Council COIN trial is one of these trials, with a remit to explore further the optimum use of both standard agents and novel agents in the first-line setting for metastatic colorectal cancer.