Background: Combination chemotherapy has shown benefit in the treatment of biliary cancer and further improvements might be achieved by the addition of a biological agent. We report here the effect of chemotherapy with the monoclonal EGFR antibody panitumumab as therapy for KRAS wild-type biliary cancer.
Patients and methods: Patients with advanced biliary tract cancer were randomised (2:1) to receive cisplatin 25 mg/m2 and gemcitabine 1000 mg/m2 on day 1 and day 8/q3w with (arm A) or without panitumumab (arm B; 9 mg/kg BW, i.v q3w). The primary end-point was the evaluation of progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months. Secondary end-points included objective response rate (ORR), overall survival (OS), and toxicity. In addition, a post hoc assessment of genetic alterations was performed. Finally, we performed a meta-analysis of trials with chemotherapy with and without EGFR antibodies.
Results: Sixty-two patients were randomised in arm A and 28 patients in arm B. Patients received 7 treatment cycles in median (1-35) with a median treatment duration of 4.7 months (141 days, 8-765). PFS rate at 6 months was 54% in patients treated with cisplatin/gemcitabine and panitumumab but was 73% in patients treated with cisplatin/gemcitabine without antibody, respectively. Secondary end-points were an ORR of 45% in treatment arm A compared with 39% receiving treatment B and a median OS of 12.8 months (arm A) and of 20.1 months (arm B), respectively. In contrast to the p53-status, genetic alterations in IDH1/2 were linked to a high response after chemotherapy and prolonged survival. In accordance with our results, the meta-analysis of 12 trials did not reveal a survival advantage for patients treated with EGFR antibodies compared with chemotherapy alone.
Conclusions: Panitumumab in combination with chemotherapy does not improve ORR, PFS and OS in patients with KRAS wild-type, advanced biliary cancer. Genetic profiling should be included in CCA trials to identify and validate predictive and prognostic biomarkers.
Clinical trials number: The trial was registered with NCT01320254.
Keywords: Bilary cancer; Chemotherapy; EGFR; Genetic profiling; KRAS; Panitumumab.
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