Background: The efficacy and safety of using combination chemotherapy with cetuximab as first-line treatment in patients with K-ras wild-type colorectal cancers has been well established. In general, weekly cetuximab was given with biweekly chemotherapy FOLFOX-4 or FOLFIRI, synchronizing them would be appealed to both patients and health care professionals.
Materials and methods: This Phase II, prospective study investigated the efficacy and safety of using biweekly cetuximab 500 mg/m(2) with chemotherapy FOLFOX-4 or FOLFIRI as first-line treatment for Chinese patients with K-ras wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer. The study endpoints included overall objective response (OR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and safety.
Results: Total 15 Chinese patients (male: 10 [67%]; median age: 60 [range 41-80]) were enrolled. Patients received median 12 cycles (range 2-12) of chemotherapy + cetuximab (FOLFOX-4 + cetuximab: 9 [60%]; FOLFIRI + cetuximab: 6 [40%]). Six patients (40%) with non-progressive disease after 12 cycles of chemotherapy + cetuximab carried on maintenance cetuximab. Median duration of follow-up (FU) was 23.7 months. The OR was 40% (complete response: 0%; partial response: 40%) for a disease control rate of 87%. Median PFS and OS were 7.8 months and 17.9 months respectively. For maintenance cetuximab phase, median PFS since the start of maintenance cetuximab was 6.8 months and median OS was 17.0 months. The only grade 3-4 toxicities were neutropenia (26.7%) in chemotherapy phase and acneiform rashes (16.7%) in maintenance phase.
Conclusions: Biweekly cetuximab with combination chemotherapy was effective and safe as weekly dose. Further studies are warranted for the role of maintenance cetuximab.
Keywords: Cetuximab; chemotherapy; colorectal cancer; maintenance; metastasis.