BACKGROUND: Aflibercept combined with FOLFIRI (folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan) as second-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) significantly improved survival compared with FOLFIRI alone in the pivotal VELOUR (aflibercept vs. placebo in combination with irinotecan and 5-fluorouracil in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer after failure of an oxaliplatin-based regimen) trial. No quality-of-life assessment was performed in VELOUR; therefore, the ASQoP (Aflibercept Safety and Quality-of-Life Program) trial was designed to capture the safety and health-related quality of life (HRQL).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: ASQoP was an international, open-label, single-arm trial evaluating the safety and HRQL of aflibercept combined with FOLFIRI administered in a real-life setting to 781 patients with mCRC, pretreated with an oxaliplatin-based regimen with or without bevacizumab. The Italian subset of ASQoP enrolled 200 patients from 28 institutions. The primary endpoint was safety; HRQL was a secondary endpoint, assessed by validated questionnaires (European quality of life 5-dimension instrument 3-level; European Organization for Research and Treatment for Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30, version 3; and EORTC-CR29) at baseline, during treatment, and at the end of treatment.
RESULTS: The median age of the Italian ASQoP population was 63 years; the median number of aflibercept and FOLFIRI cycles was 7. Treatment-emergent adverse events were reported in 97.5% of patients. Hypertension (28.5%), neutropenia (27.5%; from laboratory data), asthenic conditions (20.0%), diarrhea (17.0%), and stomatitis (13.0%) were the most frequent (incidence, ≥ 5%) grade 3/4 toxicities. One toxic death occurred during the study period due to sepsis, without neutropenic complications. No significant worsening of HRQL was shown during treatment.
CONCLUSION: Aflibercept combined with FOLFIRI was well tolerated when administered as second-line treatment for patients with mCRC in a real-life setting. It did not affect HRQL and showed similar rates of treatment-emergent adverse events as those observed in the VELOUR trial. No new safety signals were identified.