Encorafenib Plus Cetuximab as a New Standard of Care for Previously Treated BRAF V600E-Mutant Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Updated Survival Results and Subgroup Analyses from the BEACON Study

J Clin Oncol. 2021 Feb 1;39(4):273-284. doi: 10.1200/JCO.20.02088.


Purpose: BEACON CRC evaluated encorafenib plus cetuximab with or without binimetinib versus investigators' choice of irinotecan or FOLFIRI plus cetuximab in patients with BRAFV600E-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), after progression on 1-2 prior regimens. In the previously reported primary analysis, encorafenib, binimetinib plus cetuximab (ENCO/BINI/CETUX; triplet) and encorafenib plus cetuximab (ENCO/CETUX; doublet) regimens improved overall survival (OS) and objective response rate (ORR; by blinded central review) versus standard of care. The purpose of this analysis was to report updated efficacy and safety data.

Methods: In this open-label, phase III trial, 665 patients with BRAF V600E-mutant mCRC were randomly assigned 1:1:1 to receive triplet, doublet, or control. Primary end points were OS and independently reviewed ORR comparing triplet to control. OS for doublet versus control was a key secondary end point. Updated analyses include 6 months of additional follow-up and ORR for all randomized patients.

Results: Patients received triplet (n = 224), doublet (n = 220), or control (n = 221). Median OS was 9.3 months (95% CI, 8.2 to 10.8) for triplet and 5.9 months (95% CI, 5.1 to 7.1) for control (hazard ratio [HR], 0.60 [95% CI, 0.47 to 0.75]). Median OS for doublet was 9.3 months (95% CI, 8.0 to 11.3) (HR v control, 0.61 [95% CI, 0.48 to 0.77]). Confirmed ORR was 26.8% (95% CI, 21.1% to 33.1%) for triplet, 19.5% (95% CI, 14.5% to 25.4%) for doublet, and 1.8% (95% CI, 0.5% to 4.6%) for control. Adverse events were consistent with the prior primary analysis, with grade ≥ 3 adverse events in 65.8%, 57.4%, and 64.2% for triplet, doublet, and control, respectively.

Conclusion: In the BEACON CRC study, encorafenib plus cetuximab improved OS, ORR, and progression-free survival in previously treated patients in the metastatic setting compared with standard chemotherapy. Based on the primary and updated analyses, encorafenib plus cetuximab is a new standard care regimen for previously treated patients with BRAF V600E mCRC.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02928224.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carbamates / administration & dosage
  • Cetuximab / administration & dosage
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics*
  • Standard of Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sulfonamides / administration & dosage
  • Survival Rate


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

Associated data

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