In a plenary session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago, researchers reported that treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer with Avastin® (bevacizumab) or Erbitux® (cetuximab) and standard chemotherapy (FOLFOX or FOLFIRI) regimens led to a new benchmark median survival time of 29 months.
The results presented as ASCO were from the CALG/SWOG 80405 study in which 1137 previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer patients were enrolled. Patients were assigned to one of two chemotherapy regimens based on physician preference: FOLFOX (leucovorin/5-fluorouracil/oxaliplatin) or FOLFIRI (leucovorin/5-fluorouracil/irinotecan). In this study group, 73% were on FOLFOX and 27% were on FOLFIRI. Patients were then randomly assigned to receive in addition to their standard chemotherapy either Avastin or Erbitux.
The median overall survival rate for the Avastin group was 29 months; survival in the Erbitux group was 29.9 months. This result was considerably longer survival time than that of 10 years ago when the study began. At that time, the overall survival time was approximately 21 months.
Both drugs showed similar progression-free survival rates: 10.8 months for Avastin and 10.4 months for Erbitux.
The lead researcher, Dr. Alan Venook, reported that 124 patients (10.9%) were deemed disease free by surgery and the study treatment. The median survival in these patients exceeded 5.5 years.
There were no unexpected adverse events seen during the trial.
Reference: Venook A, Niedzwiecki D, lenz H-J, et al. CALGB/SWOG 80405: Phase III trial of irinotecan/5-FU/leucovorin (FOLFIRI) or oxaliplatin/5-FU/leucovorin (mFOLFOX6) with bevacizumab (BV) or cetuximab (CET) for patients (pts) with KRAS wild-type (wt) untreated metastatic adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum (MCRC).J Clin Oncol 32:5s, 2014 (suppl; abstr LBA3)