Impact of Subsequent Therapies on Outcome of the FIRE-3/AIO KRK0306 Trial: First-Line Therapy With FOLFIRI Plus Cetuximab or Bevacizumab in Patients With KRAS Wild-Type Tumors in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2015 Nov 10;33(32):3718-26. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.61.2887. Epub 2015 Aug 10.


Purpose: We investigated choice and efficacy of subsequent treatment, with special focus on second-line therapy, in the FIRE-3 trial (FOLFIRI plus cetuximab [arm A] or bevacizumab [arm B]) for patients with KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer.

Patients and methods: Start of subsequent-line (second or third) therapy was defined as use of an antitumor drug that was not part of the previous regimen. We evaluated choice, duration, and efficacy of subsequent therapy and determined the impact of subsequent-line treatment on outcome of patients in FIRE-3.

Results: Of 592 patients in the intent-to-treat population, 414 (69.9%) received second-line and 256 (43.2%) received third-line therapy. In subsequent treatment lines, 47.1% of patients originally assigned to arm A received bevacizumab, and 52.2% originally assigned to arm B received either cetuximab or panitumumab. Oxaliplatin was subsequently used in 55.9% (arm A) and 53.2% (arm B) of patients. Second-line therapy was administered for a median duration of 5.0 versus 3.2 months (P < .001) in study arm A versus B. Progression-free (6.5 v 4.7 months; hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.85; P < .001) and overall survival (16.3 v 13.2 months; hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.88; P = .0021) from start of second-line therapy were longer in patients in arm A compared with arm B.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that the sequence of drug application might be more important than exposure to single agents. In patients with RAS wild-type tumors, first-line application of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor-directed therapy may represent a favorable condition for promoting effective subsequent therapy including antiangiogenic agents.

Trial registration: NCT00433927.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / administration & dosage
  • Camptothecin / analogs & derivatives
  • Cetuximab / administration & dosage
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leucovorin / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Treatment Outcome
  • ras Proteins / genetics*


  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Bevacizumab
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins
  • Cetuximab
  • Leucovorin
  • Fluorouracil
  • Camptothecin

Supplementary concepts

  • IFL protocol

Associated data