Background: The FOLFOXIRI regimen developed by the Gruppo Oncologico Nord Ovest (GONO) demonstrated higher activity and efficacy compared with FOLFIRI in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Panitumumab is effective in some patients with KRAS codon 12-13 wild-type mCRC. KRAS codon 61, HRAS, NRAS, and BRAF V600E mutations might predict resistance to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor antibodies.
Patients and methods: We conducted a phase II study evaluating the combination of panitumumab (6 mg/kg on day 1) with a slightly modified GONO-FOLFOXIRI (irinotecan 150 mg/m², oxaliplatin 85 mg/m², and folinate 200 mg/m² on day 1, followed by fluorouracil 3000 mg/m² as a 48-h continuous infusion starting on day 1) repeated every 2 weeks as first-line treatment of wild-type KRAS, HRAS, NRAS (codon 12-13-61), and BRAF unresectable mCRC patients. Fluorouracil dose was reduced to 2400 mg/m² after two of the first three patients reported grade 3-4 diarrhoea (in one case with febrile neutropenia). Induction treatment was scheduled for a maximum of 12 cycles, followed by panitumumab ± fluorouracil/folinate maintenance until progression. Primary end point was overall response rate (ORR).
Results: Eighty-seven patients were screened and 37 were enrolled. Thirty-three patients achieved an objective response (ORR: 89%; 95% CI 75% to 96%). Sixteen patients (43%) underwent secondary surgery of metastases, and R0 resection was achieved in 13 cases (35%). At a median follow-up of 17.7 months, median progression-free survival was 11.3 months (95% CI 9.7-12.9 months). After amendment, most common grade 3-4 adverse events reported during induction treatment were neutropenia (48%; febrile neutropenia: 5%), diarrhoea (35%), asthenia (27%), stomatitis (14%), and skin toxic effect (14%). One treatment-related death was registered.
Conclusions: Adding panitumumab to FOLFOXIRI is feasible decreasing the dose of fluorouracil and irinotecan to reduce the risk of diarrhoea. Activity and secondary resectability of metastases among Ras-BRAF wild-type patients are promising.
Keywords: BRAF; FOLFOXIRI; Ras; metastatic colorectal cancer; panitumumab.