BACKGROUND: In the cetuximab after progression in KRAS wild-type colorectal cancer patients (CAPRI) trial patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) received 5-fluorouracil, folinic acid and irinotecan (FOLFIRI) and cetuximab in first line followed by 5-Fluorouracil, folinic acid, oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) with or without cetuximab until progression. Limited data are available on the efficacy and safety of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) agents on elderly patients with mCRC. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy and safety of FOLFIRI plus cetuximab in age-defined subgroups.
METHODS: A post-hoc analysis was performed in CAPRI trial patients; outcomes (progression-free survival (PFS), overall response rate (ORR), safety) were analysed by age-groups and stratified according to molecular characterisation. 3 age cut-offs were used to define the elderly population (≥65; ≥70 and ≥75 years).
RESULTS: 340 patients with mCRC were treated in first line with FOLFIRI plus cetuximab. Among those, 154 patients were >65 years, 86 >70 years and 35 >75 years. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed in 182 patients. Among them, 87 patients were >65 years, 46 >70 and 17 >75. 104 of 182 patients were wild type (WT) for KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA genes. In the quadruple WT group, 51 patients were ≥65 years; 29 were ≥70; 9 were ≥75. Median PFS was similar within the age-subgroups in the intention-to-treat population, NGS cohort and quadruple WT patients, respectively. Likewise, ORR was not significantly different among age-subgroups in the 3 populations. Safety profile was acceptable and similarly reported among all age-groups, with the exception of grade ≥3 diarrhoea (55% vs 25%, p=0.04) and neutropaenia (75% vs 37%, p=0.03) in patients ≥75 years and grade ≥3 fatigue (31% vs 20%, p=0.01) in patients <75 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Tolerability of cetuximab plus FOLFIRI was acceptable in elderly patients. Similar ORR and PFS were observed according to age-groups. No differences in adverse events were reported among the defined subgroups with the exception of higher incidence of grade ≥3 diarrhoea and neutropaenia in patients ≥75 years and grade ≥3 fatigue in patients <75 years.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: 2009-014041-81.