Purpose: To evaluate dabrafenib, a selective BRAF inhibitor, combined with trametinib, a selective MEK inhibitor, in patients with BRAF V600-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
Patients and methods: A total of 43 patients with BRAF V600-mutant mCRC were treated with dabrafenib (150 mg twice daily) plus trametinib (2 mg daily), 17 of whom were enrolled onto a pharmacodynamic cohort undergoing mandatory biopsies before and during treatment. Archival tissues were analyzed for microsatellite instability, PTEN status, and 487-gene sequencing. Patient-derived xenografts were established from core biopsy samples.
Results: Of 43 patients, five (12%) achieved a partial response or better, including one (2%) complete response, with duration of response > 36 months; 24 patients (56%) achieved stable disease as best confirmed response. Ten patients (23%) remained in the study > 6 months. All nine evaluable during-treatment biopsies had reduced levels of phosphorylated ERK relative to pretreatment biopsies (average decrease ± standard deviation, 47% ± 24%). Mutational analysis revealed that the patient achieving a complete response and two of three evaluable patients achieving a partial response had PIK3CA mutations. Neither PTEN loss nor microsatellite instability correlated with efficacy. Responses to dabrafenib plus trametinib were comparable in patient-derived xenograft-bearing mice and the biopsied lesions from each corresponding patient.
Conclusion: The combination of dabrafenib plus trametinib has activity in a subset of patients with BRAF V600-mutant mCRC. Mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling was inhibited in all patients evaluated, but to a lesser degree than observed in BRAF-mutant melanoma with dabrafenib alone. PIK3CA mutations were identified in responding patients and thus do not preclude response to this regimen. Additional studies targeting the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in this disease are warranted.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01072175.
© 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.