Cetuximab and Chemotherapy as Initial Treatment for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Digestive Oncology Unit, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 04/2009; 360(14):1408-17. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0805019
Source: PubMed


We investigated the efficacy of cetuximab plus irinotecan, fluorouracil, and leucovorin (FOLFIRI) as first-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer and sought associations between the mutation status of the KRAS gene in tumors and clinical response to cetuximab.
We randomly assigned patients with epidermal growth factor receptor-positive colorectal cancer with unresectable metastases to receive FOLFIRI either alone or in combination with cetuximab. The primary end point was progression-free survival.
A total of 599 patients received cetuximab plus FOLFIRI, and 599 received FOLFIRI alone. The hazard ratio for progression-free survival in the cetuximab-FOLFIRI group as compared with the FOLFIRI group was 0.85 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 0.99; P=0.048). There was no significant difference in the overall survival between the two treatment groups (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.07; P=0.31). There was a significant interaction between treatment group and KRAS mutation status for tumor response (P=0.03) but not for progression-free survival (P=0.07) or overall survival (P=0.44). The hazard ratio for progression-free survival among patients with wild-type-KRAS tumors was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.50 to 0.94), in favor of the cetuximab-FOLFIRI group. The following grade 3 or 4 adverse events were more frequent with cetuximab plus FOLFIRI than with FOLFIRI alone: skin reactions (which were grade 3 only) (in 19.7% vs. 0.2% of patients, P<0.001), infusion-related reactions (in 2.5% vs. 0%, P<0.001), and diarrhea (in 15.7% vs. 10.5%, P=0.008).
First-line treatment with cetuximab plus FOLFIRI, as compared with FOLFIRI alone, reduced the risk of progression of metastatic colorectal cancer. The benefit of cetuximab was limited to patients with KRAS wild-type tumors. ( number, NCT00154102.)

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Available from: György Bodoky
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    • "It has been frequently reported that patients having KRAS mutations show no significant response to moAb treatment (Parsons and Meng, 2009; Bando et al., 2011). KRAS mutations are found in approximately 35–45% of CRCs (Karapetis et al., 2008; Amado et al., 2008; Van Cutsem et al., 2009). For this reason KRAS mutational status is considered as predictive marker for determining the efficacy of anti-EGFR therapies, and KRAS screening tests are prescribed by physicians before the start of treatments (Fakih, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The most challenging task in colorectal cancer research nowadays is to understand the development of acquired resistance to anti-EGFR drugs. The key reason for this problem is the KRAS mutations appearence after the treatment with monoclonal antibodies (moAb). Here we present a mathematical model for the analysis of KRAS mutations behavior in colorectal cancer with respect to moAb treatments. To evaluate the drug performance we have developed equations for two types of tumors cells, i.e KRAS mutated and KRAS wild-type. Both tumor cell populations were treated with a combination of moAb and chemotherapy drugs. It was observed that even the minimal initial concentration of KRAS mutation before the treatment has the ability to make the tumor refractory to the treatment. Minor population of KRAS mutations has strong influence on large number of wild-type cells as well rendering them resistant to chemotherapy. Patient's immune responses are specifically taken into considerations and it is found that, in case of KRAS mutations, the immune strength does not affect medication efficacy. Finally, cetuximab (moAb) and irinotecan (chemotherapy) drugs are analyzed as first-line treatment of colorectal cancer with few KRAS mutated cells. Results show that this combined treatment could be only effective for patients with high immune strengths and it should not be recommended as first-line therapy for patients with moderate immune strengths or weak immune systems because of a potential risk of relapse, with KRAS mutant cells acquired resistance involved with them.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Theoretical Biology
    • "(Bokemeyer et al, 2009, 2012; Van Cutsem et al, 2009, 2011; De Roock et al, 2010; Douillard et al, 2010, 2013; Ye et al, 2013 "
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    ABSTRACT: The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway has been implicated in the molecular pathogenesis of human cancers, including metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). This provides a rationale for the development of MAPK-targeted agents such as pimasertib. Patients with KRAS mutant mCRC were treated in the second-line setting with FOLFIRI (5-fluorouracil/folinic acid/irinotecan) plus pimasertib. The primary objective of the safety run-in phase was to determine the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and the recommended phase II dose of pimasertib combined with FOLFIRI. Sixteen patients were enrolled in the trial. Ten and six patients were treated daily with 45 and 60 mg of pimasertib plus FOLFIRI, respectively. The MTD was considered to be 45 mg per day. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, asthenia and skin/rash event. Of the 15 patients in the efficacy analysis group, two patients had partial response, nine patients had stable disease, three patients had progressive disease as their best overall response and one patient could not be evaluated. Dose escalation of pimasertib in combination with FOLFIRI was limited by toxicity. At the MTD of 45 mg per day, pimasertib was adequately tolerated in patients with mCRC and no unexpected or new safety signals or concerns were identified.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 19 May 2015; doi:10.1038/bjc.2015.144
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · British Journal of Cancer
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    • "The therapeutic paradigm in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) changed after the discovery that mutated tumor KRAS status is associated with lack of response to therapy with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To improve the selection of advanced colorectal cancer patients to panitumumab by optimizing the assessment of RAS (KRAS-NRAS) mutations. Experimental design: Using a centralized pyrosequencing RAS assay, we analyzed the tumors of 94 patients, wild-type for KRAS mutations (codons 12 to 13) by Sanger sequencing (SS), treated with panitumumab. Results: By SS analysis, 94 (62%) of 152 patients were wild-type and their objective response rate to panitumumab was 17%. We first optimized the KRAS test, by performing an accurate tissue-dissection step followed by pyrosequencing, a more sensitive method, and found further mutations in 12 (12.8%) cases. Secondly, tumors were subjected to RAS extension analysis (KRAS, exons 3 to 4; NRAS exons 2 to 4) by pyrosequencing that allowed to identify several rare mutations: KRAS codon 61, 5.3%; codon 146, 5.3%; NRAS, 9.5%. Overall, RAS mutation rate was 32.9%. All patients with additional RAS mutations had progressive or stable disease, except 3 patients with mutations at codon 61 of KRAS or NRAS who experienced partial (2 cases) or complete response. By excluding from the analysis 11 cases with mutations at codons 61, no patient was responsive to treatment (P=.021). RAS wild-type versus RAS mutated cases had a significantly better time to progression (P=.044), that resulted improved (p=.004) by excluding codon 61 mutations. Conclusion: This study shows that by optimizing the RAS test it is possible to significantly improve the identification of patients who do not gain benefit of panitumumab. Prospective studies are warranted to determine the clinical significance of rare mutations.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)
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