Panitumumab is a type of monoclonal antibody called an EGFR(epidermal growth factor receptor) . Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a protein that naturally occurs in the body. Normally EGF binds to receptors on the surface of cancer cells and causes the cell to grow and reproduce.
Panitumumab attaches to the receptor on the cell surface and in this way stops the cancer cell from growing or reproducing.
Panitumumab is a liquid.
Panitumumab is given into the vein through a fine tube called a cannula. Sometimes Panitumumab and chemotherapy is given through a PICC line in the arm or a central linein the chest. Your nurse or doctor will better explain this to you.It may be given alone or in combination with chemotherapy drugs.
Every person having treatment is different so it is difficult to predict what side effects will affect you. Panitumumab can be given with chemotherapy drugs, and they have their own side effects. Below is a list of some of the side effects caused by Panitumumab.
The most common side effect of Panitumumab is a skin rash. It can occur 2 – 3 weeks after commencing treatment and can take a number of weeks to disappear even after treatment has ended. Your doctor and nurse will advise you on how to care for your skin while on panitumumab.
If you experience diarrhoea, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Your doctor can prescribe medications to help relieve this.
Fatigue (feeling tired):
If you notice you have become more tired, discuss this with your doctor or nurse who will help you find the balance between rest and activity.
Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting:
Some people feel sick while on pantimumab, if you experience this; tell your doctor who can prescribe anti-sickness (anti-emetic) medications.
Difficulty breathing or cough:
Sometimes patients develop breathing problems after starting panitumumab. If you notice changes in your breathing, let your doctor know. It is also very important to tell your doctor if you have breathing problems before you start your panitumumab treatment.
While on pantimumab treatment, it is important to take good care of your mouth. Drink plenty of fluids and clean your teeth regularly. Tell your doctor if you notice any soreness / redness / ulcers. If necessary they can prescribe medicines and mouthwashes.
Risk of blood clots:
Panitumumab can increase your risk of developing a blood clot in your lung. It is important to tell your doctor if you notice any breathlessness or chest pain.
If you notice that you have developed headaches since starting panitumumab, tell your doctor.
Your doctor will arrange for your eyes to be checked before commencing and during your treatment. Panitumab can cause damage to the eye. If you notice any changes in your vision it is very important you tell your doctor.
Panitumumab is a relatively new drug so there may be some side effects that are not mentioned here. If you experience any side effect / symptom, even if it not listed here, tell your doctor.