Persisting Corneal Erosion Under Cetuximab (Erbitux) Treatment (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Antibody)

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To report persisting corneal erosion and trichomegaly as ocular side effects of cetuximab (Erbitux) treatment, a monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor.


A 62-year-old patient was treated with combined chemotherapy including cetuximab for colorectal carcinoma and showed accelerated growth of eyelashes with persistent bilateral corneal erosions resistant to conservative treatment. Topical EGF was successfully applied as an experimental treatment to antagonize the inhibitory effect of the EGF receptor antibody.


Topical application of EGF led to rapid improvement, with complete healing of the epithelial defect after 7 (left eye) and 19 days (right eye) while application of cetuximab was continued.


Cetuximab (Erbitux) can cause impairment of corneal wound healing as an ocular side effect. Patients concerned may benefit from application of EGF eyedrops.

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