Abstract Background Retrospective studies have suggested that phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) expression might predict the efficacy of cetuximab in patients with KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The present study was designed to prospectively evaluate the efficacy of first-line irinotecan, fluorouracil, and folinate (FOLFIRI) plus cetuximab every second week according to PTEN expression. Patients and Methods Originally, patients with KRAS wild-type mCRC were randomly assigned to receive either FOLFIRI or cetuximab plus FOLFIRI (FOLFIRI-C). After a protocol amendment, the FOLFIRI arm was discontinued, and additional patients received FOLFIRI-C. Cox proportional hazard models were used to investigate the effect of PTEN and MET expression and BRAF and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit α mutations on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Results A total of 35 and 54 patients received FOLFIRI and FOLFIRI-C, respectively. For the patients assigned to FOLFIRI and FOLFIRI-C, the median OS was 17.7 and 23.3 months and the median PFS was 8.2 and 6.6 months, respectively. For patients receiving FOLFIRI-C, the loss of PTEN expression did not affect PFS or OS. Significant interactions for PFS were detected between the MET expression levels (P =.047) and BRAF mutation (P = .018) and treatment. On univariate analysis, BRAF mutation was significantly associated with shorter OS for patients receiving either FOLFIRI-C (P =.016) or FOLFIRI (P =.035). Multivariate analysis confirmed the independent prognostic value of BRAF mutation on OS and that of MET expression levels on PFS (P =.025) and OS (P =.028) but only in the patients receiving FOLFIRI alone. Adverse events with FOLFIRI-C were consistent with those expected from FOLFIRI plus weekly cetuximab. Conclusion Although prospective analysis of PTEN did not allow a validation of the prognostic value of this biomarker, an every second week cetuximab schedule, in addition to first-line FOLFIRI, was effective and well tolerated. The possible predictive value of MET expression levels warrants additional investigation.
- Anti-EGFR antibody
- Phosphatase and tensin homolog
ASJC Scopus subject areas