First-line single-agent panitumumab in frail elderly patients with wild-type KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer and poor prognostic factors: A phase II study of the Spanish Cooperative Group for the Treatment of Digestive Tumours

Eur J Cancer. 2015 Jul;51(11):1371-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2015.04.013. Epub 2015 May 8.


Background: Frail elderly patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) are not candidates for chemotherapy. Monotherapy with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies may be an option for these patients with few systemic toxic effects.

Patients and methods: Single-arm, multicentre, phase II trial including patients ⩾ 70y ears with wild-type (WT) KRAS (exon 2) mCRC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status ⩽ 3, KPC (Köhne Prognostic Classification)--defined intermediate or high risk status, frailty and/or ineligibility for chemotherapy. Patients received panitumumab until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end-point was progression free survival (PFS) rate at 6 months.

Results: The study included 33 patients (intention-to-treat (ITT) population). Median age: 81 years; sex: 66.7% male; high-risk KPC status: 45.4%. Median treatment duration was 14 weeks and 6-month PFS rate was 36.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): 20.0-52.8). The objective response rate: 9.1% (95% CI: 0-18.9) (all partial responses), and there were 18 stable diseases (54.5%). Median PFS was 4.3 months (95% CI: 2.8-6.4) and median overall survival (OS) was 7.1 months (95% CI: 5.0-12.3). There were no deaths or grade 4-5 adverse events (AEs) related to panitumumab and the most common grade 3-related AE was rash acneiform (15.2%). A significant association between clinical response and RAS status was observed (P=0.037). In the WT RAS subgroup (WT exons 2, 3, and 4 of KRAS and NRAS, N = 15), 6-month PFS rate was 53.3% (95% CI: 30.1-75.2) and median PFS and OS were 7.9 and 12.3 months, respectively.

Conclusions: Single-agent panitumumab is active and well tolerated and may be a therapeutic option for high-risk frail elderly patients with WT RAS tumours considered not candidates for chemotherapy ( identifier NCT01126112).

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Elderly patients; First-line; Frailty; Monotherapy; Panitumumab.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Genes, ras
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Panitumumab
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Spain
  • ras Proteins / genetics


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Panitumumab
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins

Associated data