JCT  Vol.4 No.6 B , July 2013
Pemetrexed and Gemcitabine for Chemotherapy Refractory Colorectal Cancer—Results of a Phase II and Translational Research Study
ABSTRACT

Introduction: We investigated the safety and efficacy of pemetrexed with gemcitabine in heavily pre-treated, chemotherapy refractory, KRAS mutated colorectal cancer (mCRC) and the prognostic value of quantitative levels of cell free DNA (cfDNA) in plasma. Methods: Inclusion criteria comprised; histopathologically verified, KRAS mutant, chemotherapy resistant mCRC, adequate organ function and performance status. Patients received pemetrexed (initially 500 mg/m2 q3w) + gemcitabine (1250 mg/m2 days 1 and 8) until progression or unacceptable toxicity. RECIST version 1.1, NCI-CTCAE version 4.0 and Kaplan-Meier statistics were used for endpoint evaluation. Cell free DNA was quantified from pre-treatment EDTA plasma-samples by an in-house qPCR. Results: Forty patients were included. The median number of cycles was 3 (range 0 - 12). Thirty-six percent obtained disease stabilisation, but no objective response was observed. Median PFS and OS were 2.8 (range 2.1 - 4.0) and 5.4 (range 4.3 - 7.0) months, respectively. Adverse events caused immediate discontinuation of treatment or delay of the next cycle and consequently discontinuation in 5 patients. Translational research revealed a shorter PFS and OS with increasing levels of cfDNA. The median PFS in patients with cfDNA levels above the 75 percentile was 2 months compared to 4 months in the remaining patients, HR 3.23 (1.05 - 9.89), p = 0.0008. The median OS was 3 and 6 months, respectively, HR 2.9 (95%CI 0.98 - 8.34). Cox regression analysis confirmed that cfDNA remained a significantly independent prognostic factor for both PFS and OS. Conclusion: Pemetrexed and gemcitabine did not prove sufficient benefit and unacceptable toxicity was observed. The potential value of cfDNA should be investigated further.


Cite this paper
K. Spindler, N. Pallisgaard, R. Andersen, J. Ploen and A. Jakobsen, "Pemetrexed and Gemcitabine for Chemotherapy Refractory Colorectal Cancer—Results of a Phase II and Translational Research Study," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2013, pp. 44-50. doi: 10.4236/jct.2013.46A2006.
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