RAS mutations have been shown to confer resistance to anti- epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) treatment. We analysed the results of the PETACC8 trial (cetuximab + FOLFOX vs FOLFOX) in full RAS and BRAF wildtype (WT) patients (pts) with resected stage III colon cancer.Patients and methods
Exons 2, 3 and 4 of KRAS and NRAS, and BRAF exons 11 and 15, were sequenced using the Ampliseq colon–lung cancer panel version 2, in PETACC8 trial pts who consented to translational research. The impact of cetuximab on time to recurrence (TTR), disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) was investigated in pts with tumours harbouring RAS and BRAF WT, and RAS mutations. The prognostic value of each individual mutation was also tested.Results
Among the 2559 pts analysed, 745 pts (29%) were known to have KRAS exon 2 mutations and 163 pts (6.4%) the BRAF V600E mutation. Of the remaining 1651 pts, 1054 were assessed by NGS, showing that a further 227 pts (21%) had KRAS exon 2, 3, 4 or NRAS exon 2, 3, 4 mutations, and that 46 pts (4.4%) had a newly diagnosed BRAF mutation. Cetuximab added to FOLFOX did not significantly improve TTR, DFS or OS in pts with RAS WT or RAS and BRAF WT tumours (HR 0.77–1.03, all P > 0.05). Cetuximab addition was not either significantly deleterious in RAS mutant pts or in pts with rare RAS or BRAF mutations. In the overall trial population, NRAS and KRAS codon 61 mutations were the only rare mutations with the same pejorative prognostic value as KRAS exon 2 or BRAF V600E mutations.Conclusion
Though not significant, the clinically relevant 0.76 adjusted HR observed for DFS in favour of adding cetuximab to FOLFOX, in full RAS and BRAF WT stage III colon cancer pts, may justify a new randomized controlled trial testing EGFR inhibitors in this setting.Clinical trial number
This is an ancillary study of the PETACC8 trial: EUDRACT 2005-003463-23.