Purpose: Resection of metastases after chemotherapy improves survival outcomes of patients with initially inoperable metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), yet little data is available for those treated in the first-line setting with bevacizumab plus irinotecan. To provide data on this, the present study described the subgroup of the ETNA cohort who underwent metastases surgery.
Methods: The population of operated patients was described according to metastatic site (exclusively hepatic, non-exclusively hepatic, and non-hepatic). Factors associated with overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were evaluated using multivariable Cox analysis.
Results: A total of 76 patients (21.1 % of the ETNA cohort) underwent metastases resection: 50 % male, median age 61.9 years, 85.5 % ECOG ≤ 1, and median duration of bevacizumab use 7.2 months. No surgery-related deaths were observed and 30.6 % of patients had at least one post-operative complication, mainly infections (11.8 % of resections), bleeding complications (3.5 %), or delayed wound healing (2.4 %). Complete remission was higher for those with exclusively hepatic metastases (22/32, 68.8 %) than those with non-exclusively hepatic metastases (12/24, 50.0 %), or non-hepatic metastases (12/20, 60.0 %). Among operated patients, 52.6 % had died after 5 years of follow-up. In multivariable analysis at 2 years of follow-up, death (HR 0.09 [95 % CI 0.02-0.35]) and progression (HR 0.35 [95 % CI 0.23-0.56]) were less likely for patients with complete remission (CR) after surgery R0-R1 or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) [CR RFA] compared with those who were not resected or with R2 resection.
Conclusion: In real-life practice, bevacizumab with irinotecan in first-line therapy for mCRC allows secondary resection of metastases and survival is more favourable in those with complete remission (R0-R1/CR RFA).