London: A targeted three-drug combination therapy resulted in median overall survival of nine months for patients with advanced bowel cancer compared to 5.4 months for current standard-of-care treatment, showed the results of a phase-3 clinical trial.
The data suggested that the three-drug combination, encorafenib, binimetinib and cetuximab, should replace chemotherapy for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have a BRAF gene flaw. Metastatic cancer can spread from one organ to another.
BRAF mutations are estimated to occur in up to 15 per cent of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, with V600E being the most common BRAF mutation and representing a poor prognosis for these patients.
"This study builds on a decade of research into the tumour biology of BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer, and reflects a rationale combination to address the vulnerabilities unique to this tumour," said principal investigator Scott Kopetz, Associate Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US.
"We are encouraged to see a meaningful improvement in outcomes with this new regimen for our patients," Kopetz added.
The international study was a multi-institutional collaboration with over 200 centres worldwide.
The clinical trial involved 665 metastatic colorectal cancer patients with BRAF mutation.
The findings were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.