Colorectal Cancer Coverage from Every Angle
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BEACON CRC Trial: Improved Outcomes With Triplet Therapy in Colorectal Cancer

By: Kelly M. Hennessey, PhD
Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

In a prespecified interim analysis of the multicenter, open-label, phase III BEACON CRC trial, Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and colleagues reported that the combination of encorafenib, cetuximab, and binimetinib resulted in longer overall survival and a higher response rate than standard therapy for patients with BRAF V600E–mutated metastatic colorectal cancer. Their results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

A total of 665 patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to one of three groups. All patients had histologically or cytologically confirmed metastatic colorectal cancer with a BRAF V600E mutation and disease progression after one or two previous lines of therapy. The triplet-therapy group included 224 patients who received encorafenib, binimetinib, and cetuximab. In the doublet-therapy group, 220 patients received encorafenib and cetuximab. The 221 patients in the control group received the investigators’ choice of either cetuximab and irinotecan or cetuximab and FOLFIRI (leucovorin, irinotecan, and fluorouracil).

The median overall survival was 9.0 months in the triplet-therapy group, 8.4 months in the doublet-therapy group, and 5.4 months in the control group. Progression-free survival was significantly longer in both the triplet-therapy and the doublet-therapy groups (4.3 and 4.2 months, respectively) than in the control group (1.5 months). The confirmed response rate was 26% in the triplet-therapy group and 2% in the control group.

“This study builds on a decade of research into the tumor biology of BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer and reflects a rational combination to address the vulnerabilities unique to this tumor. This targeted therapy combination should be a new standard of care for this patient group,” explained Dr. Kopetz in an MD Anderson press releases. “Further investigation is needed to determine if this combination may also benefit those with less advanced disease or as a first-line treatment.”

Disclosure: For the full disclosures of the study authors, visit nejm.org.



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