COLORECTAL CANCER: Upfront PD-1 inhibition (pembrolizumab) improved PFS for MSI+ advanced disease compared with standard chemo ± bevacizumab ± cetuximab (PFS 16.5 vs 8.2 months respectively)
Upfront PD-1 inhibition (pembrolizumab) improved PFS for MSI+ advanced disease compared with standard chemo ± bevacizumab ± cetuximab (PFS 16.5 vs 8.2 months respectively); data from the KEYNOTE-177 trial presented at ASCO.
Pembrolizumab versus chemotherapy for microsatellite instability-high/mismatch repair deficient metastatic colorectal cancer: The phase 3 KEYNOTE-177 study.
KEYNOTE-177 (NCT02563002) is a phase 3, randomized open-label study evaluating the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab (pembro) versus standard of care chemotherapy ± bevacizumab or cetuximab (chemo) as first-line therapy for patients (pts) with microsatellite-instability high/mismatch repair deficient (MSI-H/dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). We present results of the final PFS analysis.
A total of 307 pts with MSI-H/dMMR mCRC as determined locally and ECOG PS 0 or 1 were randomly assigned 1:1 to first-line pembro 200 mg Q3W for up to 2 years or investigator’s choice of mFOLFOX6 or FOLFIRI Q2W ± bevacizumab or cetuximab (chemo chosen prior to randomization). Treatment continued until PD, unacceptable toxicity, pt/investigator decision to withdraw, or completion of 35 cycles (pembro only). Patients receiving chemo could crossover to pembro for up to 35 cycles after confirmed PD. Primary end points were PFS (RECIST v1.1, central review) and OS. Key secondary end points included ORR (RECIST v1.1, central review), and safety. The data cutoff date for this interim analysis was Feb 19, 2020. The study will continue without changes to evaluate OS.
At data cutoff, 153 pts were randomized to pembro and 154 to chemo. Median (range) study follow-up was 28.4 mo (0.2-48.3) with pembro vs 27.2 mo (0.8-46.6) with chemo. Pembro was superior to chemo for PFS (median 16.5 mo vs 8.2 mo; HR 0.60; 95% CI, 0.45-0.80; P=0.0002). The 12- and 24-mo PFS rates were 55.3% and 48.3% with pembro vs 37.3% and 18.6% with chemo. Confirmed ORR was 43.8% vs 33.1%; median (range) duration of response was not reached (2.3+ to 41.4+) with pembro vs 10.6 mo (2.8 to 37.5+) with chemo. Grade 3-5 treatment related adverse event (AE) rates were 22% vs 66% for pembro vs chemo. One pt in the chemo arm died due to a treatment-related AE.
Pembro provided a clinically meaningful and statistically significant improvement in PFS versus chemo as first-line therapy for pts with MSI-H/dMMR mCRC, with fewer treatment-related AEs observed and should be the new standard of care for these pts. Clinical trial information: NCT02563002.