Current Options for Third-line and Beyond Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. Spanish TTD Group Expert Opinion

Colorectal Cancer

Fernández-Montes A, et al. Clin Colorectal Cancer 2020 - Review.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a public health problem: it is the third most common cancer in men (746,000 new cases/year) and the second in women (614,000 new cases/year), representing the second leading cause of death by cancer worldwide. The survival of patients with metastatic CRC (mCRC) has increased prominently in recent years, reaching a median of 25 to 30 months. A growing number of patients with mCRC are candidates to receive a treatment in third line or beyond, although the optimal drug

regimen and sequence are still unknown. In this situation of refractoriness, there are several alternatives: (1) To administer sequentially the 2 oral drugs approved in this indication: trifluridine/tipiracil and regorafenib, which have shown a statistically significant benefit in progression-free survival and overall survival with a different toxicity profile. (2) To administer cetuximab or panitumumab in treatment-naive patients with RAS wild type, which is increasingly rare because these drugs are usually indicated in first- or second-line. (3) To reuse drugs already administered that were discontinued owing to toxicity or progression (oxaliplatin, irinotecan, fluoropyrimidine, antiangiogenics, anti-epidermal growth factor receptor [if RAS wild-type]). High-quality evidence is limited, but this strategy is often used in routine clinical practice in the absence of alternative therapies especially in patients with good performance status. (4) To use specific treatments for very selected populations, such as trastuzumab/lapatinib in mCRC human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive, immunotherapy in microsatellite instability, intrahepatic therapies in limited disease or primarily located in the liver, although the main recommendation is to include patients in clinical trials.