Colorectal Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

GI Cancers Symposium 2020: TAPUR Study Findings for Pembrolizumab in Colorectal Cancer

By: Dana A. Elya, MS, RD, CDN
Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Results from a cohort of the Target Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) phase III basket study found that monotherapy with pembrolizumab showed antitumor activity in heavily pretreated patients with colorectal cancer and a high tumor mutational burden. The study, conducted by Eyal Meiri, MD, of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Atlanta, and colleagues, was presented at the 2020 Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancers Symposium (Abstract 133) in San Francisco.

Although additional study is warranted to confirm the efficacy of pembrolizumab in this population, Dr. Meiri described the results as “pretty decent,” in the ASCO Daily News, especially considering that patients tolerated single-agent pembrolizumab fairly well. “We’re trying to do anything we can for our patients to give them that qualitative as well as quantitative improvement in their life,” he added.

At total of 27 patients participated in the study. The majority (78%) had received at least three prior treatment regimens for advanced colorectal cancer. High tumor mutation burden ranged from 9 to 54 mutations/megabase (Muts/Mb).

A partial response was observed in 1 patient with a high tumor mutation burden of 10 Muts/Mb, which yielded an overall response rate of 4%. An additional seven patients had stable disease lasting 16 weeks, resulting in a disease control rate of 28% and an objective response rate of 4%. The median progression-free survival was 9.3 weeks. After 1 year of treatment, 46% of patients were still alive.

Two patients had grade 3 adverse events at least possibly related to pembrolizumab. The adverse events included abdominal infection, anorexia, colitis, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. One patient also had a serious adverse event of acute kidney injury.

Disclosure: The authors’ disclosure information can be found at

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