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Injection, cetuximab, 10 mg

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

Common Name: Injection of cetuximab
Technical/Medical Term: HCPCS Code J9055 - Injection, cetuximab, 10 mg


Cetuximab is a medication injected into the bloodstream to help treat certain types of cancers, such as colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer. This medicine is typically administered in a clinical setting by healthcare professionals.


Medical Conditions Addressed:

  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancer

Goals/Expected Outcomes:

  • To shrink tumors and slow cancer progression.
  • Improve the effectiveness of other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Extend patient survival and improve quality of life.


Specific Symptoms/Conditions:

  • Advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Patient Criteria:

  • Cancer that expresses the EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor)
  • Patients who have not responded to other treatments


Pre-procedure Instructions:

  • No specific fasting requirement.
  • Patients must inform the healthcare provider about any allergies, existing medical conditions, or ongoing medications.

Diagnostic Tests/Assessments:

  • Blood tests to assess liver function and other vital parameters.
  • Imaging studies to evaluate the extent of the cancer.

Procedure Description

  1. Preparation:

    • The healthcare provider confirms patient identity and reviews medical history.
    • An intravenous (IV) line is established.
  2. Injection:

    • Cetuximab is mixed with a saline solution and prepared for infusion.
    • The medication is slowly injected into the IV over a period of time.
  3. Monitoring:

    • Vital signs are monitored continuously during the injection process to track any immediate adverse reactions.


  • IV catheter and infusion pump
  • Monitoring equipment for vital signs

Anesthesia/Sedation: Not required


The infusion typically takes about 1-2 hours.


The procedure is usually performed in an outpatient clinic or hospital oncology unit.


  • Oncologist
  • Oncology nurses
  • Pharmacist

Risks and Complications

Common Risks:

  • Skin reactions such as rash and itching
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

Rare Risks:

  • Severe infusion reactions (e.g., difficulty breathing, low blood pressure)
  • Cardiac events
  • Serious infections


  • Immediate stopping of the infusion if severe reactions occur.
  • Symptomatic treatments for common side effects.


  • Reduction in tumor size.
  • Slowing down the progression of cancer.
  • Enhanced effectiveness of other cancer treatments.
  • Potentially extended survival rates and improved life quality.

Realization Timeline: Benefits may become evident within a few weeks of treatment initiation.


Post-procedure Care:

  • Patients are observed for a short period post-injection for immediate reactions.
  • Hydration and symptomatic treatments for any side effects.

Expected Recovery Time:

  • No recovery time is typically needed, but patients may experience side effects that require management.


  • Regular follow-up appointments to monitor the effectiveness and adjust treatment plans as necessary.


Other Treatment Options:

  • Surgical resection of the tumor
  • Chemotherapy alone
  • Radiation therapy

Pros and Cons of Alternatives:

  • Surgery can remove the tumor but may not be feasible for all patients.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation can be effective but may have different side effect profiles and limitations in advanced-stage cancers.

Patient Experience

During the Procedure:

  • Mild discomfort from the IV insertion.
  • Possible chills or mild reactions during infusion.

After the Procedure:

  • Potential for mild to moderate skin reactions, fatigue, and nausea.
  • Pain management, including pain relief medications and supportive care, as needed.

Comfort measures include ensuring a calm, supportive environment and providing reassuring communication with healthcare staff.

Medical Policies and Guidelines for Injection, cetuximab, 10 mg

Related policies from health plans

Erbitux (cetuximab)

Similar Codes

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