Best practice & research. Clinical gastroenterology vol:21 issue:6 pages:1089-108
The management of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) has changed dramatically over the last five years, with increasing chances of prolonged survival. The development of new drugs has contributed to the better outcome of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Until the mid-1990s the only available drug, with limited activity in metastatic CRC, was 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The development of the cytotoxic agents irinotecan, oxaliplatin and capecitabine and of the monoclonal antibodies against the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) bevacizumab and against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) cetuximab and panitumumab have clearly increased the therapeutic options and have improved the outcome for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. However, their introduction also raises many new questions and challenges.