Patients with advanced colorectal cancer were randomized to receive standard FOLFOX/bevacizumab with versus without oncolytic virus pelareorep. Primary end point progression-free survival was inferior in the pelareorep arm (hazard ratio, 1.59; P = .046), although pelareorep significantly improved objective response rate (27 patients [53%] vs. 18 patients [35%]). Exploration of pelareorep in alternate combinations or as induction therapy might be considered.Background:
Oncolytic reovirus pelareorep might preferentially infect and destroy rat sarcoma (RAS)-activated cells, and has preclinical and early clinical activity against colorectal cancer (CRC).Patients and Methods:
After a 6-patient safety run-in, 103 patients with metastatic CRC were randomly assigned to standard first-line leucovorin/5-FU/oxaliplatin (FOLFOX6)/bevacizumab (FOLFOX/BEV) every 2 weeks with (n = 51) or without (n = 52) pelareorep 3 × 1010 tissue culture infective dose 50 on days 1 to 5 (cycles 1, 2, 4, and alternate cycles thereafter). The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary end points included overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR), quality of life, and correlative analyses.Results:
At 13 months' median follow-up, PFS was inferior in the pelareorep arm (median 7 vs. 9 months; hazard ratio [HR], 1.59 [80% confidence interval (CI), 1.18–2.15]; P = .046). There was no statistical difference in OS (median, 19.2 vs. 20.1 months; HR, 1.22; P = .38). An increased ORR was observed with pelareorep (adjusted odds ratio, 2.52 [80% CI, 1.44–4.41]; P = .03), but with a shorter median duration of response (5 vs. 9 months; P = .028). Pelareorep patients experienced more hypertension and proteinuria, and were more likely to omit bevacizumab before progression. A trend to lower dose intensity and shorter oxaliplatin and bevacizumab treatment duration was observed with pelareorep.Conclusion:
Combination pelareorep with FOLFOX/BEV was tolerable with an increased ORR, but PFS was inferior. Subgroup analysis of baseline variables including Kirsten rat sarcoma oncogene did not identify subgroups with PFS benefit. Decreased treatment intensity with standard agents likely contributed to the lack of benefit with pelareorep. Future studies might consider alternate pelareorep/chemotherapy strategies or combination therapy with novel agents.