How to deal with second line dilemma in metastatic colorectal cancer? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Antonio Galvano, Lorena Incorvaia, Giuseppe Badalamenti, Sergio Rizzo, Aurelia Guarini, Stefania Cusenza, Luisa Castellana, Nadia Barraco, Valentina Calò, Sofia Cutaia, Giuseppe Currò, Nicola Silvestris, Giordano Domenico Beretta, Viviana Bazan, Antonio Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Monoclonal antibodies targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) have demonstrated efficacy with chemotherapy (CT) as second line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The right sequence of the treatments in all RAS (KRAS/NRAS) wild type (wt) patients has not precisely defined. We evaluated the impact of aforementioned targeted therapies in second line setting, analyzing efficacy and safety data from phase III clinical trials. We performed both direct and indirect comparisons between anti-EGFR and anti-VEGF. Outcomes included disease control rate (DCR), objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and G3-G5 toxicities. Our results showed significantly improved OS (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.72–0.94) and DCR (HR 1.27, 95% CI 1.04–1.54) favouring anti-VEGF combinations in overall population; no statistically significant differences in all RAS wt patients was observed (HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.70–1.09). Anti-EGFR combinations significantly increased ORR in all patients (RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.31–0.96), showing a trend also in all RAS wt patients (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.48–0.83). No significant difference in PFS and DCR all RAS was registered. Our results provided for the first time a strong rationale to manage both targeted agents in second line setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE1189
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Colorectal cancer
  • EGFR
  • Meta-analysis
  • Second line
  • Sequence
  • Targeted agents
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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