Encorafenib, Binimetinib, and Cetuximab in BRAF V600E-Mutated Colorectal Cancer

N Engl J Med. 2019 Oct 24;381(17):1632-1643. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1908075. Epub 2019 Sep 30.


Background: Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer with the BRAF V600E mutation have a poor prognosis, with a median overall survival of 4 to 6 months after failure of initial therapy. Inhibition of BRAF alone has limited activity because of pathway reactivation through epidermal growth factor receptor signaling.

Methods: In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we enrolled 665 patients with BRAF V600E-mutated metastatic colorectal cancer who had had disease progression after one or two previous regimens. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive encorafenib, binimetinib, and cetuximab (triplet-therapy group); encorafenib and cetuximab (doublet-therapy group); or the investigators' choice of either cetuximab and irinotecan or cetuximab and FOLFIRI (folinic acid, fluorouracil, and irinotecan) (control group). The primary end points were overall survival and objective response rate in the triplet-therapy group as compared with the control group. A secondary end point was overall survival in the doublet-therapy group as compared with the control group. We report here the results of a prespecified interim analysis.

Results: The median overall survival was 9.0 months in the triplet-therapy group and 5.4 months in the control group (hazard ratio for death, 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 0.70; P<0.001). The confirmed response rate was 26% (95% CI, 18 to 35) in the triplet-therapy group and 2% (95% CI, 0 to 7) in the control group (P<0.001). The median overall survival in the doublet-therapy group was 8.4 months (hazard ratio for death vs. control, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.79; P<0.001). Adverse events of grade 3 or higher occurred in 58% of patients in the triplet-therapy group, in 50% in the doublet-therapy group, and in 61% in the control group.

Conclusions: A combination of encorafenib, cetuximab, and binimetinib resulted in significantly longer overall survival and a higher response rate than standard therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer with the BRAF V600E mutation. (Funded by Array BioPharma and others; BEACON CRC ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02928224; EudraCT number, 2015-005805-35.).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Benzimidazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Carbamates / administration & dosage*
  • Cetuximab / administration & dosage*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Disease Progression
  • Electrocorticography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention to Treat Analysis
  • Irinotecan / therapeutic use
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics*
  • Sulfonamides / administration & dosage*
  • Survival Analysis


  • Benzimidazoles
  • Carbamates
  • Sulfonamides
  • binimetinib
  • Irinotecan
  • encorafenib
  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Cetuximab

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02928224
  • EudraCT/2015-005805-35