Dynamics in treatment response and disease progression of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients with focus on BRAF status and primary tumor location: analysis of untreated RAS-wild-type mCRC patients receiving FOLFOXIRI either with or without panit

Colorectal Cancer

Kurreck A, et al. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020.


PURPOSE: In mCRC, disease dynamics may play a critical role in the understanding of long-term outcome. We evaluated depth of response (DpR), time to DpR, and post-DpR survival as relevant endpoints.

METHODS: We analyzed DpR by central review of computer tomography images (change from baseline to smallest tumor diameter), early tumor shrinkage (≥ 20% reduction in tumor diameter at first reassessment), time to DpR (study randomization to DpR-image), post-DpR progression-free survival (pPFS = DpR-image to tumor progression or death), and post-DpR overall survival (pOS = DpR-image to death) with special focus on BRAF status in 66 patients and primary tumor site in 86 patients treated within the VOLFI-trial, respectively.

RESULTS: BRAF wild-type (BRAF-WT) compared to BRAF mutant (BRAF-MT) patients had greater DpR (- 57.6% vs. - 40.8%, p = 0.013) with a comparable time to DpR [4.0 (95% CI 3.1-4.4) vs. 3.9 (95% CI 2.5-5.5) months; p = 0.8852]. pPFS was 6.5 (95% CI 4.9-8.0) versus 2.6 (95% CI 1.2-4.0) months in favor of BRAF-WT patients (HR 0.24 (95% CI 0.11-0.53); p < 0.001). This transferred into a significant difference in pOS [33.6 (95% CI 26.0-41.3) vs. 5.4 (95% CI 5.0-5.9) months; HR 0.27 (95% CI 0.13-0.55); p < 0.001]. Similar observations were made for patients stratified for primary tumor site.

CONCLUSIONS: BRAF-MT patients derive a less profound treatment response compared to BRAF-WT patients. The difference in outcome according to BRAF status is evident after achievement of DpR with BRAF-MT patients hardly deriving any further disease control beyond DpR. Our observations hint towards an aggressive tumor evolution in BRAF-MT tumors, which may already be molecularly detectable at the time of DpR.