Publications by authors named "Clara Montagut"

54 Publications

Correlation of RECIST, Computed Tomography Morphological Response, and Pathological Regression in Hepatic Metastasis Secondary to Colorectal Cancer: The AVAMET Study.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Aug 12;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 12.

Medical Oncology Department, Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra, Instituto de investigaciones Sanitarias de Navarra (IdISNA), 31008 Pamplona, Spain.

: The prospective phase IV AVAMET study was undertaken to correlate response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST)-defined response rates with computed tomography-based morphological criteria (CTMC) and pathological response after liver resection of colorectal cancer metastases. : Eligible patients were aged ≥18 years, with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0/1 and histologically-confirmed colon or rectal adenocarcinoma with measurable liver metastases. Preoperative treatment was bevacizumab (7.5 mg on day 1) + XELOX (oxaliplatin 130 mg/m, capecitabine 1000 mg/m bid on days 1-14 q3w). After three cycles, response was evaluated by a multidisciplinary team. Patients who were progression-free and metastasectomy candidates received one cycle of XELOX before undergoing surgery 3-5 weeks later, followed by four cycles of bevacizumab + XELOX. : A total of 83 patients entered the study; 68 were eligible for RECIST, 67 for CTMC, and 51 for pathological response evaluation. Of these patients, 49% had a complete or partial RECIST response, 91% had an optimal or incomplete CTMC response, and 81% had a complete or major pathological response. CTMC response predicted 37 of 41 pathological responses versus 23 of 41 responses predicted using RECIST ( = 0.008). Kappa coefficients indicated a lack of correlation between the results of RECIST and morphological responses and between morphological and pathological response rates. Conclusion: CTMC may represent a better marker of pathological response to bevacizumab + XELOX than RECIST in patients with potentially-resectable CRC liver metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465835PMC
August 2020

ctDNA applications and integration in colorectal cancer: an NCI Colon and Rectal-Anal Task Forces whitepaper.

Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2020 12 6;17(12):757-770. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

An increasing number of studies are describing potential uses of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in the care of patients with colorectal cancer. Owing to this rapidly developing area of research, the Colon and Rectal-Anal Task Forces of the United States National Cancer Institute convened a panel of multidisciplinary experts to summarize current data on the utility of ctDNA in the management of colorectal cancer and to provide guidance in promoting the efficient development and integration of this technology into clinical care. The panel focused on four key areas in which ctDNA has the potential to change clinical practice, including the detection of minimal residual disease, the management of patients with rectal cancer, monitoring responses to therapy, and tracking clonal dynamics in response to targeted therapies and other systemic treatments. The panel also provides general guidelines with relevance for ctDNA-related research efforts, irrespective of indication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41571-020-0392-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790747PMC
December 2020

The McCAVE Trial: Vanucizumab plus mFOLFOX-6 Versus Bevacizumab plus mFOLFOX-6 in Patients with Previously Untreated Metastatic Colorectal Carcinoma (mCRC).

Oncologist 2020 03 30;25(3):e451-e459. Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Background: Bevacizumab, a VEGF-A inhibitor, in combination with chemotherapy, has proven to increase progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival in multiple lines of therapy of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The angiogenic factor angiopoetin-2 (Ang-2) is associated with poor prognosis in many cancers, including mCRC. Preclinical models demonstrate improved activity when inhibiting both VEGF-A and Ang-2, suggesting that the dual VEGF-A and Ang-2 blocker vanucizumab (RO5520985 or RG-7221) may improve clinical outcomes. This phase II trial evaluated the efficacy of vanucizumab plus modified (m)FOLFOX-6 (folinic acid (leucovorin), fluorouracil (5-FU) and oxaliplatin) versus bevacizumab/mFOLFOX-6 for first-line mCRC.

Patients And Methods: All patients received mFOLFOX-6 and were randomized 1:1 to also receive vanucizumab 2,000 mg or bevacizumab 5 mg/kg every other week. Oxaliplatin was given for eight cycles; other agents were continued until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity for a maximum of 24 months. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed PFS.

Results: One hundred eighty-nine patients were randomized (vanucizumab, n = 94; bevacizumab, n = 95). The number of PFS events was comparable (vanucizumab, n = 39; bevacizumab, n = 43). The hazard ratio was 1.00 (95% confidence interval, 0.64-1.58; p = .98) in a stratified analysis based on number of metastatic sites and region. Objective response rate was 52.1% and 57.9% in the vanucizumab and bevacizumab arm, respectively. Baseline plasma Ang-2 levels were prognostic in both arms but not predictive for treatment effects on PFS of vanucizumab. The incidence of adverse events of grade ≥3 was similar between treatment arms (83.9% vs. 82.1%); gastrointestinal perforations (10.8% vs. 8.4%) exceeded previously reported rates in this setting. Hypertension and peripheral edema were more frequent in the vanucizumab arm.

Conclusion: Vanucizumab/mFOLFOX-6 did not improve PFS and was associated with increased rates of antiangiogenic toxicity compared with bevacizumab/mFOLFOX-6. Our results suggest that Ang-2 is not a relevant therapeutic target in first-line mCRC.

Implications For Practice: This randomized phase II study demonstrates that additional angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) inhibition does not result in superior benefit over anti-VEGF-A blockade alone when each added to standard chemotherapy. Moreover, the performed pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis revealed that vanucizumab was bioavailable and affected its intended target, thereby strongly suggesting that Ang-2 is not a relevant therapeutic target in the clinical setting of treatment-naïve metastatic colorectal cancer. As a result, the further clinical development of the dual VEGF-A and Ang-2 inhibitor vanucizumab was discontinued.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0291DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7066709PMC
March 2020

Development, Validation, and Regulatory Considerations for a Liquid Biopsy Test.

Clin Chem 2020 03;66(3):408-414

Chief, Molecular Diagnostics Service, Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/clinchem/hvaa010DOI Listing
March 2020

High-accuracy liquid biopsies.

Nat Med 2019 12;25(12):1820-1821

Clinical Oncology Department, Hospital del Mar, IMIM-CIBERONC, Barcelona, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0690-1DOI Listing
December 2019

Population pharmacokinetics and covariate analysis of Sym004, an antibody mixture against the epidermal growth factor receptor, in subjects with metastatic colorectal cancer and other solid tumors.

J Pharmacokinet Pharmacodyn 2020 02 2;47(1):5-18. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Occams Coöperatie U.A., 1187 HE, Amstelveen, The Netherlands.

Sym004 is an equimolar mixture of two monoclonal antibodies, futuximab and modotuximab, which non-competitively block the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Sym004 has been clinically tested for treatment of solid tumors. The present work characterizes the non-linear pharmacokinetics (PK) of Sym004 and its constituent antibodies and investigates two types of covariate models for interpreting the interindividual variability of Sym004 exposure. Sym004 serum concentration data from 330 cancer patients participating in four Phase 1 and 2 trials (n = 247 metastatic colorectal cancer, n = 87 various types advanced solid tumors) were pooled for non-linear mixed effects modeling. Dose regimens of 0.4-18 mg/kg Sym004 dosed by i.v. infusion weekly or every 2nd week were explored. The PK profiles for futuximab and modotuximab were parallel, and the parameter values for their population PK models were similar. The PK of Sym004 using the sum of the serum concentrations of futuximab and modotuximab was well captured by a 2-compartment model with parallel linear and saturable, Michaelis-Menten-type elimination. The full covariate model including all plausible covariates included in a single step showed no impact on Sym004 exposure of age, Asian race, renal and hepatic function, tumor type and previous anti-EGFR treatments. The reduced covariate model contained statistically and potentially clinically significant influences of body weight, albumin, sex and baseline tumor size. Population PK modeling and covariate analysis of Sym004 were feasible using the sum of the serum concentrations of the two constituent antibodies. Full and reduced covariate models provided insights into which covariates may be clinically relevant for dose modifications and thus may need further exploration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10928-019-09663-2DOI Listing
February 2020

The role of PIGF blockade in the treatment of colorectal cancer: overcoming the pitfalls.

Expert Opin Biol Ther 2020 01 16;20(1):15-22. Epub 2019 Oct 16.

Vall d´Hebron University Hospital (HUVH) and Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

: In colorectal cancer, anti-VEGF agents have demonstrated a survival benefit when combined with chemotherapy. However, development of resistance is very common. One of the mechanisms is due not to a failure in the VEGFR blockade, but rather to development of compensatory mechanisms of resistance, such as hypoxia-triggered upregulation of other proangiogenic factors, like placental growth factor (PlGF).: This article summarizes the fundamental role of PlGF in the development of resistance to antiangiogenic treatment as well as the efficacy of aflibercept, ramucirumab, and regorafenib.: Aflibercept functions as a soluble decoy receptor precluding VEGFs and PlGF from binding to native VEGFR, and therefore preventing the emergence of resistance. Bevacizumab limits its function to preventing the interaction between VEGF-A and VEGFR. In combination with FOLFIRI (VELOUR trial), aflibercept improves survival in patients with metastatic CRC who are resistant or have progressed to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. Ramucirumab, a fully humanized immunoglobulin G1 (IgG-1) monoclonal antibody and regorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor, have significant improvement for overall survival as well as for progression-free survival in chemotherapy refractory settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14712598.2020.1677603DOI Listing
January 2020

Dynamic Treatment Stratification Using ctDNA.

Recent Results Cancer Res 2020 ;215:263-273

Cancer Research Program, CIBERONC, Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques, Barcelona, Spain.

An accurate profiling of the genomic landscape is mandatory to establish the best clinical and therapeutic approach for patients with solid malignancies. Moreover, tumor cells constantly adapt to external pressures-i.e., systemic treatment-with the selection and expansion of resistant subclones and the emergence of heterogeneous overlapping genomic alterations of resistance. The current standard for molecular characterization in cancer is the performance of a tissue tumor biopsy at the time of diagnosis and, when possible, a re-biopsy at the time of progression. However, tissue biopsy is not always feasible or practical and may underestimate tumor heterogeneity and clonal dynamics. Circulating DNA fragments carrying tumor-specific sequence alterations (circulating tumor DNA, ctDNA) are released from cancer cells into the bloodstream, representing a variable and generally small fraction of the total circulating cell-free DNA. Tumor genotyping in ctDNA (liquid biopsy) offers potential advantages versus the standard tumor tissue biopsy, including non-invasiveness and representation of molecular heterogeneity. Technical advances in sequencing platforms have led to dramatic improvements in variant detection sensitivity and specificity that allow for the detection and quantification of low levels of ctDNA. This provides valuable information on both actionable mutations and captures real-time variations in tumor dynamics. Liquid biopsy clinical applications include molecular diagnosis, determination of tumor load as a surrogate marker of early response, monitoring of mutations of resistance to targeted therapy and detection of minimal residual disease after cancer surgery. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the biological rational and technical background of ctDNA analysis, as well as on the main clinical applications of liquid biopsy in dynamic treatment stratification in solid tumors. Special emphasis will be made on the current and potential benefits of the implementation of ctDNA in clinical practice, mainly in melanoma, lung, and colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26439-0_14DOI Listing
October 2019

HER-Family Ligands Promote Acquired Resistance to Trastuzumab in Gastric Cancer.

Mol Cancer Ther 2019 11 4;18(11):2135-2145. Epub 2019 Sep 4.

Cancer Research Program, Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM)-CIBERONC, Barcelona, Spain.

Despite the clinical benefit of trastuzumab, eventually all HER2-amplified gastric cancer tumors develop drug resistance. We aimed to identify molecular mechanisms of acquired resistance to trastuzumab in gastric cancer by using well-established cell line-based preclinical models, as well as samples from patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer treated with trastuzumab. We studied trastuzumab resistance in NCI-N87 and OE19, two gastric cancer cell lines that overexpress HER2 receptor and are trastuzumab sensitive. Differences at protein, DNA, and RNA levels between the parental and resistant cells were characterized and functional studies were performed. Paired pre- and post-trastuzumab blood and tissue samples from patients with gastric cancer treated with trastuzumab were analyzed. We found that resistant cells were associated with increased activation of MAPK/ERK and PI3K/mTOR pathways driven by SRC activation. Upstream, resistant cells showed increased coexpression of multiple HER-family ligands that allowed for compensatory activation of alternative HER receptors upon HER2 blockade. Simultaneous inhibition of EGFR, HER2, and HER3 by the novel antibody mixture, Pan-HER, effectively reverted trastuzumab resistance and Similarly, an increase in HER-family ligands was observed in serum and tumor from patients with gastric cancer after trastuzumab therapy. We propose that trastuzumab resistance in gastric cancer is mediated by HER-family ligand upregulation that allows a compensatory activation of HER receptors and maintains downstream signaling activation despite trastuzumab therapy. Resistance is reverted by simultaneous inhibition of EGFR, HER2, and HER3, thereby revealing a potential therapeutic strategy to overcome trastuzumab resistance in patients with gastric cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-19-0455DOI Listing
November 2019

Effect of Aflibercept Plus Modified FOLFOX6 Induction Chemotherapy Before Standard Chemoradiotherapy and Surgery in Patients With High-Risk Rectal Adenocarcinoma: The GEMCAD 1402 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2019 Aug 29. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

RTI Health Solutions, Barcelona, Spain.

Importance: Preclinical studies suggest that a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) blockade may play a role in the preoperative treatment of rectal adenocarcinoma; however, how to combine anti-VEGF drugs with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (CT) and/or chemoradiotherapy (CRT) remains controversial.

Objective: To study the effect of aflibercept plus modified fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) induction CT prior to standard CRT and total mesorectal excision (TME) surgery in patients with high-risk rectal adenocarcinoma.

Design, Setting, And Participants: In the Grupo Español Multidisciplinar En Cancer Digestivo (GEMCAD) 1402 phase 2 randomized clinical trial, 180 patients aged 18 to 75 years, identified by centrally reviewed magnetic resonance imaging to have mrT3c-d/T4/N2 rectal adenocarcinoma, were enrolled from 20 treatment centers in Spain between January 2015 and March 2017. Patients were randomized in a 2:1 treatment to control arm ratio. The primary end point was evaluated at 2 interim and 1 final analyses. The study was designed to perform hypothesis testing at α = .2 and β = .2. A 2-sided P value of <.1984 in the final analysis of the intention-to-treat population was the threshold for considering the experimental treatment to be more effective than the control.

Interventions: Patients received neoadjuvant mFOLFOX6 with (arm A; n = 115) or without (arm B; n = 65) aflibercept, 4 mg/kg (every 2 weeks, 6 cycles, and 3 months) prior to standard CRT and TME surgery.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was a pathologic complete response (pCR) (ypT0N0). Secondary end points included toxic effects, surgical morbidity, R0 resections, compliance, and 3-year disease-free survival.

Results: For the 115 patients who received treatment with mFOLFOX6 plus aflibercept, the median (range) age was 60 (32-75) years, 77 men (66.9%) and 38 women (33.0%). For the 65 patients who received induction CT treatment with only mFOLFOX6, the median (range) age was 65 (39-75) years, 39 men (60.0%) and 26 women (40.0%). The pCR rate in the intention-to-treat population was 22.6% (95% CI, 15.3%-31.3%) in arm A and 13.8% (95% CI, 6.5%-24.6%) in arm B (P = .15). The main differential toxic effect was grade 3/4 hypertension during the induction phase. Postoperative complications were similar in both arms (15.5% in arm A and 12.9% in arm B). A total of 106 patients (92.1%) in arm A and 63 (96.9%) in arm B received all treatment cycles.

Conclusions And Relevance: The study met its primary end point. The findings suggest that adding aflibercept to an induction regimen using mFOLFOX6 plays a role in increasing the pCR rate in patients with high-risk rectal adenocarcinoma, without substantially increasing surgical complications. The GEMCAD 1402 trial provides a rationale for phase 3 trials.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02340949.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6865228PMC
August 2019

The Evolving Biomarker Landscape for Treatment Selection in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

Drugs 2019 Sep;79(13):1375-1394

Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris Descartes University, Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Paris, France.

The approval of targeted therapies for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has led to important improvements in patient outcomes. However, it is still necessary to increase individualisation of treatments based on tumour genetic profiles to optimise efficacy, while minimising toxicity. As such, there is currently great focus on the discovery and validation of further biomarkers in mCRC, with many new potential prognostic and predictive markers being identified alongside developments in patient molecular profiling technologies. Here, we review data for validated and emerging biomarkers impacting treatment strategies in mCRC. We completed a structured literature search of the PubMed database to identify relevant publications, limiting for English-language publications published between 1 January 2014 and 11 July 2018. In addition, we performed a manual search of the key general oncology and CRC-focused congresses to identify abstracts reporting emerging mCRC biomarker data, and of ClinicalTrials.gov to identify ongoing clinical trials investigating emerging biomarkers in mCRC and/or molecular-guided clinical trials. There is solid evidence supporting the use of BRAF status as a prognostic biomarker and DYPD, UGT1A1, RAS, and microsatellite instability as predictive biomarkers in mCRC. There are a number of emerging biomarkers that may prove to be clinically relevant in the future to have prognostic (HPP1 methylation), predictive (HER3, microRNAs, anti-angiogenic markers, and CRC intrinsic subtypes), or both prognostic and predictive values (HER2, CpG island methylator phenotype, tumour mutational load, gene fusions, and consensus molecular subtypes). As such, new biomarker-led treatment strategies in addition to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor and anti-angiogenetic treatments are being explored. Biomarkers that are not recommended to be tested in clinical practice or are unlikely to be imminently clinically relevant for mCRC include thymidylate transferase, ERCC1, PIK3CA, and PTEN. We highlight the clinical utility of existing and emerging biomarkers in mCRC and provide recommended treatment strategies according to the biomarker status. An update on ongoing molecular-guided clinical trials is also provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40265-019-01165-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6728290PMC
September 2019

IKKα Kinase Regulates the DNA Damage Response and Drives Chemo-resistance in Cancer.

Mol Cell 2019 08 10;75(4):669-682.e5. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

Cancer Research Program, Institut Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques, CIBERONC, Hospital del Mar, Doctor Aiguader 88, Barcelona 08003, Spain. Electronic address:

Phosphorylated IKKα(p45) is a nuclear active form of the IKKα kinase that is induced by the MAP kinases BRAF and TAK1 and promotes tumor growth independent of canonical NF-κB signaling. Insights into the sources of IKKα(p45) activation and its downstream substrates in the nucleus remain to be defined. Here, we discover that IKKα(p45) is rapidly activated by DNA damage independent of ATM-ATR, but dependent on BRAF-TAK1-p38-MAPK, and is required for robust ATM activation and efficient DNA repair. Abolishing BRAF or IKKα activity attenuates ATM, Chk1, MDC1, Kap1, and 53BP1 phosphorylation, compromises 53BP1 and RIF1 co-recruitment to sites of DNA lesions, and inhibits 53BP1-dependent fusion of dysfunctional telomeres. Furthermore, IKKα or BRAF inhibition synergistically enhances the therapeutic potential of 5-FU and irinotecan to eradicate chemotherapy-resistant metastatic human tumors in vivo. Our results implicate BRAF and IKKα kinases in the DDR and reveal a combination strategy for cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2019.05.036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715775PMC
August 2019

Binimetinib, Encorafenib, and Cetuximab Triplet Therapy for Patients With V600E-Mutant Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: Safety Lead-In Results From the Phase III BEACON Colorectal Cancer Study.

J Clin Oncol 2019 06 20;37(17):1460-1469. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

6 Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: To determine the safety and preliminary efficacy of selective combination targeted therapy for V600E-mutant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in the safety lead-in phase of the open-label, randomized, three-arm, phase III BEACON Colorectal Cancer trial ( ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02928224; European Union Clinical Trials Register identifier: EudraCT2015-005805-35).

Patients And Methods: Before initiation of the randomized portion of the BEACON Colorectal Cancer trial, 30 patients with V600E-mutant mCRC who had experienced treatment failure with one or two prior regimens were to be recruited to a safety lead-in of encorafenib 300 mg daily, binimetinib 45 mg twice daily, plus standard weekly cetuximab. The primary end point was safety, including the incidence of dose-limiting toxicities. Efficacy end points included overall response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival.

Results: Among the 30 treated patients, dose-limiting toxicities occurred in five patients and included serous retinopathy (n = 2), reversible decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (n = 1), and cetuximab-related infusion reactions (n = 2). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were fatigue (13%), anemia (10%), increased creatine phosphokinase (10%), increased AST (10%), and urinary tract infections (10%). In 29 patients with V600E-mutant tumors (one patient had a non- V600E-mutant tumor and was not included in the efficacy analysis), the confirmed overall response rate was 48% (95% CI, 29.4% to 67.5%), median progression-free survival was 8.0 months (95% CI, 5.6 to 9.3 months), and median overall survival was 15.3 months (95% CI, 9.6 months to not reached), with median duration of follow-up of 18.2 months (range, 16.6 to 19.8 months).

Conclusion: In the safety lead-in, the safety and tolerability of the encorafenib, binimetinib, and cetuximab regimen is manageable and acceptable for initiation of the randomized portion of the study. The observed efficacy is promising compared with available therapies and, if confirmed in the randomized portion of the trial, could establish this regimen as a new standard of care for previously treated V600E-mutant mCRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.02459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7370699PMC
June 2019

Prospective multicenter real-world RAS mutation comparison between OncoBEAM-based liquid biopsy and tissue analysis in metastatic colorectal cancer.

Br J Cancer 2018 12 23;119(12):1464-1470. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

Cancer Genomics Group, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Liquid biopsy offers a minimally invasive alternative to tissue-based evaluation of mutational status in cancer. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the aggregate performance of OncoBEAM RAS mutation analysis in plasma of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients at 10 hospital laboratories in Spain where this technology is routinely implemented.

Methods: Circulating cell-free DNA from plasma was examined for RAS mutations using the OncoBEAM platform at each hospital laboratory. Results were then compared to those obtained from DNA extracted from tumour tissue from the same patient.

Results: The overall percentage agreement between plasma-based and tissue-based RAS mutation testing of the 236 participants was 89% (210/236; kappa, 0.770 (95% CI: 0.689-0.852)). Re-analysis of tissue from all discordant cases by BEAMing revealed two false negative and five false positive tumour tissue RAS results, with a final concordance of 92%. Plasma false negative results were found more frequently in patients with exclusive lung metastatic disease.

Conclusions: In this first prospective real-world RAS mutation performance comparison study, a high overall agreement was observed between results obtained from plasma and tissue samples. Overall, these findings indicate that the plasma-based BEAMing assay is a viable solution for rapid delivery of RAS mutation status to determine mCRC patient eligibility for anti-EGFR therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0293-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6288144PMC
December 2018

Single-Agent Regorafenib in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients with Any RAS or BRAF Mutation Previously Treated with FOLFOXIRI plus Bevacizumab (PREVIUM Trial).

Oncologist 2018 11 17;23(11):1271-e128. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

IMIBIC, Hospital Reina Sofía, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Andalusia, Spain.

Lessons Learned: RAS- or BRAF-mutated metastatic colorectal cancers (mCRCs) progressing after first-line treatment have a poor prognosis.European and U.S. guidelines include the multikinase inhibitor regorafenib as a standard option for second-line therapy and beyond, based on the results of the randomized phase III CORRECT trial demonstrating improvement in survival.Although stopped prematurely for failing to accrue, the PREVIUM trial, the first prospective interventional study exploring regorafenib as second-line treatment for patients with mCRC bearing RAS or BRAF mutations, failed to demonstrate clinical activity in the population analyzed.

Background: Patients with RAS- or BRAF-mutated (mut) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) progressing on first-line bevacizumab plus 5-FU/irinotecan/oxaliplatin (FOLFOXIRI) have a poor prognosis. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of regorafenib in this population.

Methods: Regorafenib was administered daily for 3 weeks of each 4-week cycle until disease progression or other reason. The primary endpoint was 6-month progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: KRAS, NRAS, or BRAF was mutated in mCRC samples in 60%, 20%, and 13% of patients, respectively. Median time from initial diagnosis of metastases to the start of regorafenib and treatment duration was 13.8 months and 7 weeks, respectively. Reasons for discontinuation included disease progression (80%), investigator decision (13%), and adverse events (AEs; 7%). Seven patients (47%) required dose reduction, mostly for asthenia (43%). The most common regorafenib-related grade 3 AEs were asthenia (33%), dysphonia (13%), and hypertension (13%) (Table 1). There were no grade 4 toxicities. No patient was progression-free at 6 months. Median PFS, time to progression (TTP), and overall survival (OS) were 2.2, 2.0, and 3.3 months, respectively.

Conclusion: Although stopped prematurely for failing to accrue, in the population analyzed, regorafenib failed to demonstrate clinical activity in KRAS- or BRAF-mutated mCRC with progression following first-line with FOLFOXIRI plus bevacizumab, although tolerability was acceptable. Our trial suggests that exploring regorafenib efficacy in an earlier line of therapy should not be undertaken without better population refinement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6291325PMC
November 2018

Multicenter Evaluation of the Idylla NRAS-BRAF Mutation Test in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

J Mol Diagn 2018 09 26;20(5):664-676. Epub 2018 Jun 26.

Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Pathology, CIBERONC, The Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital Health Research Institute, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC) with monoclonal antibodies against epidermal growth factor receptor requires the assessment of the mutational status of exons 2, 3, and 4 of the NRAS and KRAS oncogenes. Moreover, the mutational status of exon 15 of the BRAF oncogene is a marker of poor prognosis in CRC. The Idylla NRAS-BRAF Mutation Test is a reliable, simple (<2 minutes hands-on time), and quick (<2 hours turnaround time) sample-to-result solution, enabling the detection of clinically relevant mutations in NRAS (18 mutations) and BRAF (5 mutations). A multicenter study was conducted in 14 centers using the Idylla NRAS-BRAF Mutation Test to assess the NRAS and BRAF mutational status of 418 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples from CRC patients. Results were compared with those obtained earlier by routine reference methods, including next-generation sequencing, pyrosequencing, mass spectrometry-based assays, PCR-based assays, and Sanger sequencing. In case of discordance, additional tests were performed by digital droplet PCR. Overall, after testing confirmation and excluding invalids/errors by design, concordances between the Idylla NRAS-BRAF Mutation Test and the reference test results were found in almost perfect agreement. In conclusion, the Idylla NRAS-BRAF Mutation Test enables the routine detection of all NRAS and BRAF mutations deemed clinically relevant according to the latest clinical guidelines, without necessitating molecular expertise or infrastructure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2018.05.008DOI Listing
September 2018

Optimising the use of cetuximab in the continuum of care for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

ESMO Open 2018 5;3(4):e000353. Epub 2018 May 5.

Unit of Medical Oncology, Università Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy.

The anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody cetuximab in combination with chemotherapy is a standard of care in the first-line treatment of wild-type (wt) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and has demonstrated efficacy in later lines. Progressive disease (PD) occurs when tumours develop resistance to a therapy, although controversy remains about whether PD on a combination of chemotherapy and targeted agents implies resistance to both components. Here, we propose that some patients may gain additional clinical benefit from the reuse of cetuximab after having PD on regimens including cetuximab in an earlier treatment line. We conducted a non-systematic literature search in PubMed and reviewed published and ongoing clinical trials, focusing on later-line cetuximab reuse in patients with mCRC. Evidence from multiple studies suggests that cetuximab can be an efficacious and tolerable treatment when continued or when fit patients with mCRC are retreated with it after a break from anti-EGFR therapy. Furthermore, on the basis of available preclinical and clinical evidence, we propose that longitudinal monitoring of status may identify patients suitable for such a strategy. Patients who experience progression on cetuximab plus chemotherapy but have maintained wt tumour status may benefit from continuation of cetuximab with a chemotherapy backbone switch because they have probably developed resistance to the chemotherapeutic agents rather than the biologic component of the regimen. Conversely, patients whose disease progresses on cetuximab-based therapy due to drug-selected clonal expansion of mutant tumour cells may regain sensitivity to cetuximab following a defined break from anti-EGFR therapy. Looking to the future, we propose that status determination at disease progression by liquid, needle or excisional biopsy may identify patients eligible for cetuximab continuation and rechallenge. With this approach, treatment benefit can be extended, adding to established continuum-of-care strategies in patients with mCRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/esmoopen-2018-000353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950648PMC
May 2018

Early evolution of BRAFV600 status in the blood of melanoma patients correlates with clinical outcome and identifies patients refractory to therapy.

Melanoma Res 2018 06;28(3):195-203

Laboratory of Oncology, Institute of Oncology Dr Rosell (IOR), University Hospital Quirón Dexeus.

Serial analysis of BRAF mutations in circulating-free DNA (cfDNA) could be of prognostic value in melanoma patients. We collected blood samples from 63 advanced BRAFV600E/K melanoma patients and determined BRAFV600E/K status in cfDNA using a quantitative 5'-nuclease PCR-based assay. Levels of BRAF mutation in pre-cfDNAs were associated significantly with tumour burden, progression-free survival and overall survival. Changes in BRAF status in cfDNA after initiation of treatment (early-cfDNA) had a significant correlation with outcome. In patients with persistent BRAF mutations (n=12), progression-free survival and overall survival were 3.5 months [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6-4.6] and 5.3 months (95% CI: 3.4-8.1) compared with 16.6 months (95% CI: 8.2-22.3) and 21.9 months (95% CI: 10.2-NR) in patients with BRAF negativization (n=16), and 15.1 months (95% CI: 2.3-NR) and NR (95% CI: 5.1-NR) in patients who maintained their initial negative status (n=12) (P<0.0001). The median duration of response in patients with radiological response, but persistence of BRAFV600 in early-cfDNA (n=5) was 4 months. Our study indicates that serial BRAF testing in the blood of advanced melanoma identifies patients refractory to therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000432DOI Listing
June 2018

Efficacy of Sym004 in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer With Acquired Resistance to Anti-EGFR Therapy and Molecularly Selected by Circulating Tumor DNA Analyses: A Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Oncol 2018 Apr 12;4(4):e175245. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Medical Oncology Department, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.

Importance: Acquired resistance to anti-EGFR therapy (epidermal growth factor receptor) is frequently due to RAS and EGFR extracellular domain (ECD) mutations in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Some anti-EGFR-refractory patients retain tumor EGFR dependency potentially targetable by agents such as Sym004, which is a mixture of 2 nonoverlapping monoclonal antibodies targeting EGFR.

Objective: To determine if continuous blockade of EGFR by Sym004 has survival benefit.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Multicenter, phase 2, randomized, clinical trial comparing 2 regimens of Sym004 with investigator's choice from March 6, 2014, through October 15, 2015. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) was analyzed for biomarker and tracking clonal dynamics during treatment. Participants had wild-type KRAS exon 2 mCRC refractory to standard chemotherapy and acquired resistance to anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies.

Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio to Sym004, 12 mg/kg/wk (arm A), Sym004, 9 mg/kg loading dose followed by 6 mg/kg/wk (arm B), or investigator's choice of treatment (arm C).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Overall survival (OS). Secondary end points included preplanned exploratory biomarker analysis in ctDNA.

Results: A total of 254 patients were randomized (intent-to-treat [ITT] population) (median age, 63 [range, 34-91] years; 63% male; n = 160). Median OS in the ITT population was 7.9 months (95% CI, 6.5-9.9 months), 10.3 months (95% CI, 9.0-12.9 months), and 9.6 months (95% CI, 8.3-12.2 months) for arms A, B, and C, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 1.31; 95% CI, 0.92-1.87 for A vs C; and HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.68-1.40 for B vs C). The ctDNA revealed high intrapatient genomic heterogeneity following anti-EGFR therapy. Sym004 effectively targeted EGFR ECD-mutated cancer cells, and a decrease in EGFR ECD ctDNA occurred in Sym004-treated patients. However, this did not translate into clinical benefit in patients with EGFR ECD mutations, likely owing to co-occurring resistance mechanisms. A subgroup of patients was defined by ctDNA (RAS/BRAF/EGFR ECD-mutation negative) associated with improved OS in Sym004-treated patients in arm B compared with arm C (median OS, 12.8 and 7.3 months, respectively).

Conclusions And Relevance: Sym004 did not improve OS in an unselected population of patients with mCRC and acquired anti-EGFR resistance. A prospective clinical validation of Sym004 efficacy in a ctDNA molecularly defined subgroup of patients with refractory mCRC is warranted.

Trial Registration: clinicaltrialsregister.eu Identifier: 2013-003829-29.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.5245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885274PMC
April 2018

Optimization of Mutational Analysis Confirms Improvement in Patient Selection for Clinical Benefit to Anti-EGFR Treatment in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

Mol Cancer Ther 2017 09 16;16(9):1999-2007. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Department of Medical Oncology, Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Translational Research Laboratory, ICO-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL)-CIBERONC, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), recent studies have shown the importance to accurately quantify low-abundance mutations of the pathway because anti-EGFR therapy may depend on certain mutation thresholds. We aimed to evaluate the added predictive value of an extended panel testing using two commercial assays and a highly sensitive and quantitative digital PCR (dPCR). Tumor samples from 583 mCRC patients treated with anti-EGFR- ( = 255) or bevacizumab- ( = 328) based therapies from several clinical trials and retrospective series from the TTD/RTICC Spanish network were analyzed by cobas, , and dPCR. We evaluated concordance between techniques using the Cohen kappa index. Response rate, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were correlated to the mutational status and the mutant allele fraction (MAF). Concordance between techniques was high when analyzing and (Cohen kappa index around 0.75). We observed an inverse correlation between MAF and response in the anti-EGFR cohort ( < 0.001). Likelihood ratio analysis showed that a fraction of 1% or higher of any mutated alleles offered the best predictive value. PFS and OS were significantly longer in / wild-type patients, independently of the technique. However, the predictability of both PFS and OS were higher when we considered a threshold of 1% in the scenario (HR = 1.53; CI 95%, 1.12-2.09 for PFS, and HR = 1.9; CI 95%, 1.33-2.72 for OS). Although the rate of mutations observed among techniques is different, and mutational analysis improved prediction of response to anti-EGFR therapy. Additionally, dPCR with a threshold of 1% outperformed the other platforms. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0153DOI Listing
September 2017

Genome-wide chemical mutagenesis screens allow unbiased saturation of the cancer genome and identification of drug resistance mutations.

Genome Res 2017 04 8;27(4):613-625. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton CB10 1SA, United Kingdom.

Drug resistance is an almost inevitable consequence of cancer therapy and ultimately proves fatal for the majority of patients. In many cases, this is the consequence of specific gene mutations that have the potential to be targeted to resensitize the tumor. The ability to uniformly saturate the genome with point mutations without chromosome or nucleotide sequence context bias would open the door to identify all putative drug resistance mutations in cancer models. Here, we describe such a method for elucidating drug resistance mechanisms using genome-wide chemical mutagenesis allied to next-generation sequencing. We show that chemically mutagenizing the genome of cancer cells dramatically increases the number of drug-resistant clones and allows the detection of both known and novel drug resistance mutations. We used an efficient computational process that allows for the rapid identification of involved pathways and druggable targets. Such a priori knowledge would greatly empower serial monitoring strategies for drug resistance in the clinic as well as the development of trials for drug-resistant patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.213546.116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5378179PMC
April 2017

Acquired RAS or EGFR mutations and duration of response to EGFR blockade in colorectal cancer.

Nat Commun 2016 12 8;7:13665. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Candiolo Cancer Institute-FPO, IRCCS, 10060 Candiolo, Torino, Italy.

Blockade of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with the monoclonal antibodies cetuximab or panitumumab is effective in a subset of colorectal cancers (CRCs), but the emergence of resistance limits the efficacy of these therapeutic agents. At relapse, the majority of patients develop RAS mutations, while a subset acquires EGFR extracellular domain (ECD) mutations. Here we find that patients who experience greater and longer responses to EGFR blockade preferentially develop EGFR ECD mutations, while RAS mutations emerge more frequently in patients with smaller tumour shrinkage and shorter progression-free survival. In circulating cell-free tumour DNA of patients treated with anti-EGFR antibodies, RAS mutations emerge earlier than EGFR ECD variants. Subclonal RAS but not EGFR ECD mutations are present in CRC samples obtained before exposure to EGFR blockade. These data indicate that clonal evolution of drug-resistant cells is associated with the clinical outcome of CRC patients treated with anti-EGFR antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5155160PMC
December 2016

Multi-Center Evaluation of the Fully Automated PCR-Based Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Assay for Rapid KRAS Mutation Status Determination on Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissue of Human Colorectal Cancer.

PLoS One 2016;11(9):e0163444. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Biocartis, Mechelen, Belgium.

Since the advent of monoclonal antibodies against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in colorectal cancer therapy, the determination of RAS mutational status is needed for therapeutic decision-making. Most prevalent in colorectal cancer are KRAS exon 2 mutations (40% prevalence); lower prevalence is observed for KRAS exon 3 and 4 mutations (6%) and NRAS exon 2, 3, and 4 mutations (5%). The Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Test on the molecular diagnostics Idylla™ platform is a simple (<2 minutes hands-on time), highly reliable, and rapid (approximately 2 hours turnaround time) in vitro diagnostic sample-to-result solution. This test enables qualitative detection of 21 mutations in codons 12, 13, 59, 61, 117, and 146 of the KRAS oncogene being clinically relevant according to the latest clinical guidelines. Here, the performance of the Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Assay, for Research Use Only, was assessed on archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections by comparing its results with the results previously obtained by routine reference approaches for KRAS genotyping. In case of discordance, samples were assessed further by additional methods. Among the 374 colorectal cancer FFPE samples tested, the overall concordance between the Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Assay and the confirmed reference routine test results was found to be 98.9%. The Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Assay enabled detection of 5 additional KRAS-mutated samples not detected previously with reference methods. As conclusion the Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Test can be applied as routine tool in any clinical setting, without needing molecular infrastructure or expertise, to guide the personalized treatment of colorectal cancer patients.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163444PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5042411PMC
September 2016

Dabrafenib in an elderly patient with metastatic melanoma and BRAF V600R mutation: a case report.

J Med Case Rep 2016 Jun 2;10(1):158. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital del Mar, Passeig Marítim 25-29, 08003, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Approximately 50 % of malignant melanomas harbor activating point mutations in the BRAF gene. Typically, these mutations result in the substitution of the amino acid valine at codon 600 of the gene, and 90-95 % of mutations are either BRAF (V600E) or BRAF (V600K). Specific BRAF inhibitors such as dabrafenib and vemurafenib are the mainstays of treatment in patients with metastatic BRAF-mutant malignant melanomas. The third most common BRAF mutation is V600R, which also leads to increased BRAF signaling. Although evidence exists about the activity of dabrafenib and vemurafenib in patients with the BRAF (V600R) mutation, these patients have been systematically excluded from recent trials with targeted therapies.

Case Presentation: Here, we report the positive results in terms of survival and quality of life obtained with dabrafenib in an 80-year-old Caucasian male patient with a Charlson Comorbidity Index of 8 diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma harboring the BRAF (V600R) mutation. Our patient was treated with dabrafenib for 7 months with minimal toxicity. We also report exploratory analyses of circulating tumor DNA during targeted treatment. Interestingly, the mutation was not detected after starting treatment and became detectable before radiological disease progression.

Conclusions: Our report suggests that (1) a relevant benefit can be obtained with a BRAF inhibitor in real-world patients with a malignant melanoma harboring a BRAF (V600R) mutation, and that (2) circulating tumor DNA detection might be of help in assessing tumor burden in everyday clinical practice. The results reported here should encourage the inclusion of patients with BRAF (V600R)-mutated malignant melanomas in future prospective clinical trials with BRAF inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13256-016-0953-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4890269PMC
June 2016

Nanofluidic Digital PCR and Extended Genotyping of RAS and BRAF for Improved Selection of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients for Anti-EGFR Therapies.

Mol Cancer Ther 2016 05 1;15(5):1106-12. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Translational Research Laboratory, Catalan Insitute of Oncology (ICO), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain. Department of Medical Oncology, Catalan Insitute of Oncology (ICO), Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

The clinical significance of low-frequent RAS pathway-mutated alleles and the optimal sensitivity cutoff value in the prediction of response to anti-EGFR therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients remains controversial. We aimed to evaluate the added value of genotyping an extended RAS panel using a robust nanofluidic digital PCR (dPCR) approach. A panel of 34 hotspots, including RAS (KRAS and NRAS exons 2/3/4) and BRAF (V600E), was analyzed in tumor FFPE samples from 102 mCRC patients treated with anti-EGFR therapy. dPCR was compared with conventional quantitative PCR (qPCR). Response rates, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were correlated to the mutational status and the mutated allele fraction. Tumor response evaluations were not available in 9 patients and were excluded for response rate analysis. Twenty-two percent of patients were positive for one mutation with qPCR (mutated alleles ranged from 2.1% to 66.6%). Analysis by dPCR increased the number of positive patients to 47%. Mutated alleles for patients only detected by dPCR ranged from 0.04% to 10.8%. An inverse correlation between the fraction of mutated alleles and radiologic response was observed. ROC analysis showed that a fraction of 1% or higher of any mutated alleles offered the best predictive value for all combinations of RAS and BRAF analysis. In addition, this threshold also optimized prediction both PFS and OS. We conclude that mutation testing using an extended gene panel, including RAS and BRAF with a threshold of 1% improved prediction of response to anti-EGFR therapy. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(5); 1106-12. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0820DOI Listing
May 2016

Phase Ib/II study of elisidepsin in metastatic or advanced gastroesophageal cancer (IMAGE trial).

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2016 Apr 10;77(4):819-27. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

Institut Català d'Oncologia (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: To determine the recommended dose and antitumor activity of single-agent elisidepsin as a 24-h intravenous (i.v.) infusion fortnightly [biweekly, d1 and 15 every 4 weeks (q4wk); Arm A, dose-intensity strategy] or as a 3-h i.v. infusion weekly (d1, 8, 15 and 22 q4wk; Arm B, dose-density strategy) in adult patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic pretreated esophageal, gastroesophageal junction and gastric cancer.

Methods: Patients were randomized to one of two elisidepsin dosing schedules. Phase Ib starting doses were 8.0 mg flat dose (FD) in Arm A and 3.0 mg FD in Arm B. Phase II subsequently explored antitumor activity of both dosing schedules at the respective recommended doses.

Results: Forty-four patients received elisidepsin: 12 in stage Ib and 32 in stage II. The recommended doses were defined as 10 mg FD (Arm A) and 3.75 mg FD (Arm B). Both schedules were well tolerated. Most adverse events were mild or moderate, reversible and predictable with no meaningful differences between schedules. The pharmacokinetic profiles of both schedules were similar to those reported previously in patients with solid tumors treated with a comparable dose. An interim analysis found tumor control in one patient receiving elisidepsin fortnightly, and in none given elisidepsin weekly; patient accrual was therefore discontinued due to lack of efficacy.

Conclusions: Both schedules at the recommended doses presented an acceptable safety profile, but lack of response means that we do not recommend further evaluation of single-agent elisidepsin as chemotherapy for unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic gastroesophageal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-016-2991-0DOI Listing
April 2016

The First-in-class Anti-EGFR Antibody Mixture Sym004 Overcomes Cetuximab Resistance Mediated by EGFR Extracellular Domain Mutations in Colorectal Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2016 07 17;22(13):3260-7. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

Cancer Research Program, IMIM, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain. Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: Approved anti-EGFR antibodies cetuximab and panitumumab provide significant clinical benefit in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC). However, patients ultimately develop disease progression, often driven by acquisition of mutations in the extracellular domain (ECD) of EGFR. Sym004 is a novel 1:1 mixture of two nonoverlapping anti-EGFR mAbs that recently showed promising clinical activity in a phase I trial in MCRC. Our aim was to determine the efficacy of Sym004 to circumvent cetuximab resistance driven by EGFR ECD mutations.

Experimental Design: Functional studies were performed to assess drug-receptor binding as well as ligand-dependent activation of individual EGFR mutants in the presence of cetuximab, panitumumab, and Sym004. Cell viability and molecular effects of the drugs were assayed in cetuximab-resistant cell lines and in tumor xenograft models. Efficacy of Sym004 was evaluated in patients progressing to cetuximab that harbored EGFR mutation in the post-cetuximab tumor sample.

Results: Contrary to cetuximab and panitumumab, Sym004 effectively bound and abrogated ligand-induced phosphorylation of all individual EGFR mutants. Cells resistant to cetuximab harboring mutations in EGFR maintained sensitivity to Sym004, which was consistent with an effective suppression of EGFR downstream signaling, translating into profound and sustained tumor regression in the xenograft model. As proof-of-principle, a patient with a tumor harboring an EGFR mutation (G465R) following cetuximab therapy benefited from Sym004 therapy.

Conclusions: Sym004 is an active drug in MCRC resistant to cetuximab/panitumumab mediated by EGFR mutations. EGFR mutations are potential biomarkers of response to Sym004 to be evaluated in ongoing large clinical trials. Clin Cancer Res; 22(13); 3260-7. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-2400DOI Listing
July 2016

MM-151 overcomes acquired resistance to cetuximab and panitumumab in colorectal cancers harboring EGFR extracellular domain mutations.

Sci Transl Med 2016 Feb;8(324):324ra14

Candiolo Cancer Institute-Fondazione del Piemonte per l'Oncologia (FPO), IRCCS, Candiolo, Torino 10060, Italy. Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Candiolo, Torino 10060, Italy.

The anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibodies cetuximab and panitumumab are used to treat RAS wild-type colorectal cancers (CRCs), but their efficacy is limited by the emergence of acquired drug resistance. After EGFR blockade, about 20% of CRCs develop mutations in the EGFR extracellular domain (ECD) that impair antibody binding and are associated with clinical relapse. We hypothesized that EGFR ECD-resistant variants could be targeted by the recently developed oligoclonal antibody MM-151 that binds multiple regions of the EGFR ECD. MM-151 inhibits EGFR signaling and cell growth in preclinical models, including patient-derived cells carrying mutant EGFR. Upon MM-151 treatment, EGFR ECD mutations decline in circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) of CRC patients who previously developed resistance to EGFR blockade. These data provide molecular rationale for the clinical use of MM-151 in patients who become resistant to cetuximab or panitumumab as a result of EGFR ECD mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aad5640DOI Listing
February 2016

Multi-center evaluation of the novel fully-automated PCR-based Idylla™ BRAF Mutation Test on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue of malignant melanoma.

Exp Mol Pathol 2015 Dec 25;99(3):485-91. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

Biocartis NV, Mechelen, Belgium. Electronic address:

The advent of BRAF-targeted therapies led to increased survival in patients with metastatic melanomas harboring a BRAF V600 mutation (implicated in 46-48% of malignant melanomas). The Idylla(™) System (Idylla(™)), i.e., the real-time-PCR-based Idylla(™) BRAF Mutation Test performed on the fully-automated Idylla(™) platform, enables detection of the most frequent BRAF V600 mutations (V600E/E2/D, V600K/R/M) in tumor material within approximately 90 min and with 1% detection limit. Idylla(™) performance was determined in a multi-center study by analyzing BRAF mutational status of 148 archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples from malignant melanoma patients, and comparing Idylla(™) results with assessments made by commercial or in-house routine diagnostic methods. Of the 148 samples analyzed, Idylla(™) initially recorded 7 insufficient DNA input calls and 15 results discordant with routine method results. Further analysis learned that the quality of 8 samples was insufficient for Idylla(™) testing, 1 sample had an invalid routine test result, and Idylla(™) results were confirmed in 10 samples. Hence, Idylla(™) identified all mutations present, including 7 not identified by routine methods. Idylla(™) enables fully automated BRAF V600 testing directly on FFPE tumor tissue with increased sensitivity, ease-of-use, and much shorter turnaround time compared to existing diagnostic tests, making it a tool for rapid, simple and highly reliable analysis of therapeutically relevant BRAF mutations, in particular for diagnostic units without molecular expertise and infrastructure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexmp.2015.09.004DOI Listing
December 2015