RAS and BRAF mutations in cell-free DNA are predictive for outcome of cetuximab monotherapy in patients with tissue-tested RAS wild-type advanced colorectal cancer.
ABSTRACT: In metastatic colorectal cancer, RAS and BRAF mutations cause resistance to anti-EGFR therapies, such as cetuximab. Heterogeneity in RAS and BRAF mutations might explain nonresponse in a subset of patients receiving cetuximab. Analyzing mutations in plasma-derived circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) could provide a more comprehensive overview of the mutational landscape as compared to analyses of primary and/or metastatic tumor tissue. Therefore, this prospective multicenter study followed 34 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who were tissue-tested as RAS wild-type (exons 2-4) during routine work-up and received third-line cetuximab monotherapy. BRAF mutation status was also tested but did not exclude patients from therapy. At baseline and upon disease progression, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) was isolated for targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS). At 8 weeks, we determined that patients had benefited from treatment. NGS of cfDNA identified three patients with RAS mutations not detected in tumor tissue during routine work-up. Another six patients had a BRAF or rare RAS mutation in ctDNA and/or tumor tissue. Relative to patients without mutations in RAS/BRAF, patients with mutations at baseline had shorter progression-free survival [1.8 versus 4.9 months (P < 0.001)] and overall survival [3.1 versus 9.4 months (P = 0.001)]. In patients with clinical benefit (progressive disease after 8 weeks), ctDNA testing revealed previously undetected mutations in RAS/BRAF (71%) and EGFR (47%), which often emerged polyclonally. Our results indicate that baseline NGS of ctDNA can identify additional RAS mutation carriers, which could improve patient selection for anti-EGFR therapies. Acquired resistance, in patients with initial treatment benefit, is mainly explained by polyclonal emergence of RAS, BRAF, and EGFR mutations in ctDNA.
Project description:PURPOSE:Combining cetuximab with chemotherapy provides clinical benefit to 60% of the patients with RAS wild-type (RAS-wt) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). This pilot study investigated the efficacy of cetuximab-based chemotherapy in a sample of patients (40%) with RAS mutation (RAS-mt) in their primary tumor whose circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) was RAS-wt. MATERIALS AND METHODS:The occurrence of Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS), neuroblastoma rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (NRAS), V-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF), and PI3KCA mutations was determined in ctDNA by using a new ultrasensitive analysis based on mass spectrometry detection. All consenting patients with confirmed RAS-mt mCRC had disease progression on previous chemotherapy that contained no anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The patients with RAS-wt ctDNA received cetuximab + fluorouracil, leucovorin, and irinotecan (FOLFIRI), whereas those with RAS-mt ctDNA were treated with the oncologist's choice of therapy. RESULTS:Of 16 registered patients, 11 were male and five female. They were age 48 to 81 years, and they had unresectable metastatic adenocarcinoma from the colon (n = 11) or rectum (n = 5), with a median of two metastatic sites. They had received a median number of three previous chemotherapy protocols. Plasma genotyping identified RAS-mt in seven patients (44%) and RAS-wt in nine patients (56%). In the patients with wt ctDNA, objective tumor response rate was 50.0%, including one complete response and four partial responses after a median number of 6 courses of cetuximab + FOLFIRI (range, 1 to 16 courses). Two of the nine patients had stable disease, and two had progressive disease. No grade 3 to 4 toxicities were encountered. One-year survival rates were 60.0% for the patients with RAS-wt ctDNA and 17.9% for those with RAS-mt ctDNA. Median overall survival times were not reached and 4.7 months, respectively. CONCLUSION:Patients with RAS-mt mCRC whose plasma biopsies contained RAS-wt could benefit from cetuximab-based therapy, a hypothesis to be tested in a prospective randomized trial.
Project description:Importance:Based on a small retrospective study, rechallenge with cetuximab-based therapy for patients with KRAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who were previously treated with the same anti-epidermal growth factor receptor-based regimen might be efficacious. Recent data suggest the role of liquid biopsy as a tool to track molecular events in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Objective:To prospectively assess the activity of cetuximab plus irinotecan as third-line treatment for patients with RAS and BRAF wild-type mCRC who were initially sensitive to and then resistant to first-line irinotecan- and cetuximab-based therapy. Design, Setting, and Participants:Multicenter phase 2 single-arm trial conducted from January 7, 2015, to June 19, 2017. Liquid biopsies for analysis of ctDNA were collected at baseline. Main eligibility criteria included RAS and BRAF wild-type status on tissue samples; prior first-line irinotecan- and cetuximab-based regimen with at least partial response, progression-free survival of at least 6 months with first-line therapy, and progression within 4 weeks after last dose of cetuximab; and prior second-line oxaliplatin- and bevacizumab-based treatment. Interventions:Biweekly cetuximab, 500 mg/m2, plus irinotecan, 180 mg/m2. Main Outcomes and Measures:Overall response rate according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Secondary end points included progression-free survival and overall survival and, as an exploratory analysis, RAS mutations in ctDNA. Results:Twenty-eight patients (9 women and 19 men; median age, 69 years [range, 45-79 years]) were enrolled. Six partial responses (4 confirmed) and 9 disease stabilizations were reported (response rate, 21%; 95% CI, 10%-40%; disease control rate, 54%; 95% CI, 36%-70%). Primary end point was met because lower limit of 95% CI of response rate was higher than 5%. RAS mutations were found in ctDNA collected at rechallenge baseline in 12 of 25 evaluable patients (48%). No RAS mutations were detected in samples from patients who achieved confirmed partial response. Patients with RAS wild-type ctDNA had significantly longer progression-free survival than those with RAS mutated ctDNA (median progression-free survival, 4.0 vs 1.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.18-0.98; P?=?.03). Conclusions and Relevance:This is the first prospective demonstration that a rechallenge strategy with cetuximab and irinotecan may be active in patients with RAS and BRAF wild-type mCRC with acquired resistance to first-line irinotecan- and cetuximab-based therapy. The evaluation of RAS mutational status on ctDNA might be helpful in selecting candidate patients. Trial Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02296203.
Project description:Background:Since circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) offers clear advantages as a minimally invasive method for tumor monitoring compared with tumor tissue, we aimed to evaluate genotyping ctDNA using a next-generation sequencing- (NGS-) based panel to identify the prognostic value of mutation status in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients with primary tumor resected and with subsequent lines of treatment in this study. Methods:76 mCRC patients treated in Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital from 2011 to 2017 were enrolled. Genotyping of RAS/BRAF in tumor tissue and ctDNA was determined by ARMS PCR and with a 40-gene panel using NGS, respectively. Patient clinicopathologic features and RAS/BRAF gene mutation status were evaluated by survival analysis for disease-free survival (DFS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Results:Among 76 patients, KRAS distributions were not significantly correlated with any clinicopathologic features. The concordance between tumor tissue and ctDNA KRAS mutation was 81.25%. Mutations of RAS/BRAF had no significant impact on DFS after surgery (hazard ratio (HR), 1.205; 95% CI, 0.618 to 2.349; P = 0.5837) but prognosticated poorer PFS in subsequent first-line therapy (HR, 3.351; 95% CI, 1.172 to 9.576; P = 0.024). Conclusion:ctDNA was comparable with tumor tissue for mutation detection. RAS/BRAF mutations detected in ctDNA predict a worse PFS in mCRC patients with first-line chemotherapy. Our results provide support for the prognostic value of RAS/BRAF ctDNA mutation detection in mCRC patients.
Project description:Because circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) studies focusing on only one or a few genes to monitor the disease progress or treatment response are unlikely to find its clinical significance, the development of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) panel covering hundreds of mutation hot spots is important for the establishment of clinically practical ctDNA detection system. We enrolled 101 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) who received chemotherapy. Amplicon-based genomic profiling of 14 genes, which are commonly mutated in CRC, in plasma by next-generation sequencing (NGS) was carried out to evaluate the feasibility of this assay and was compared with their clinical parameters and RAS status in matched tissue samples. Somatic mutations of the 14 genes in plasma cfDNA were detected in 88 patients (87.1%) with mCRC. Mutations in TP53, KRAS, and APC genes were detected in 70 (69.3%), 39 (38.6%), and 24 (23.7%) patients, respectively. Mutant allele frequencies in plasma were significantly associated with metastasis (liver, P = 0.00004, lymph node, P = 0.008, number of metastatic organs, P = 0.0006), tumor markers (CEA, P = 0.000007, CA19-9, P = 0.006, LDH, P = 0.00001), and tumor diameter (maximum, P = 0.00002, sum of diameter, P = 0.00009). The overall concordance rate of RAS status between ctDNA and matched tissue was 77.2% (78/101). Our data confirmed that mutant allele in cfDNA can be sensitively detected by amplicon-based NGS system. These results suggest that ctDNA could be a novel diagnostic biomarker to monitor changes in mutational status and tumor burden in patients with mCRC.
Project description:Assessing circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is a promising method to evaluate somatic mutations from solid tumors in a minimally-invasive way. In a group of twelve metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients undergoing liver metastasectomy, from each patient DNA from cell-free DNA (cfDNA), the primary tumor, metastatic liver tissue, normal tumor-adjacent colon or liver tissue, and whole blood were obtained. Investigated was the feasibility of a targeted NGS approach to identify somatic mutations in ctDNA. This targeted NGS approach was also compared with NGS preceded by mutant allele enrichment using synchronous coefficient of drag alteration technology embodied in the OnTarget assay, and for selected mutations with digital PCR (dPCR). All tissue and cfDNA samples underwent IonPGM sequencing for a CRC-specific 21-gene panel, which was analyzed using a standard and a modified calling pipeline. In addition, cfDNA, whole blood and normal tissue DNA were analyzed with the OnTarget assay and with dPCR for specific mutations in cfDNA as detected in the corresponding primary and/or metastatic tumor tissue. NGS with modified calling was superior to standard calling and detected ctDNA in the cfDNA of 10 patients harboring mutations in APC, ATM, CREBBP, FBXW7, KRAS, KMT2D, PIK3CA and TP53. Using this approach, variant allele frequencies in plasma ranged predominantly from 1 to 10%, resulting in limited concordance between ctDNA and the primary tumor (39%) and the metastases (55%). Concordance between ctDNA and tissue markedly improved when ctDNA was evaluated for KRAS, PIK3CA and TP53 mutations by the OnTarget assay (80%) and digital PCR (93%). Additionally, using these techniques mutations were observed in tumor-adjacent tissue with normal morphology in the majority of patients, which were not observed in whole blood. In conclusion, in these mCRC patients with oligometastatic disease NGS on cfDNA was feasible, but had limited sensitivity to detect all somatic mutations present in tissue. Digital PCR and mutant allele enrichment before NGS appeared to be more sensitive to detect somatic mutations.
Project description:The circulating free tumor DNA (ctDNA) represents an alternative, minimally invasive source of tumor DNA for molecular profiling. Targeted sequencing with next generation sequencing (NGS) can assess hundred mutations starting from a low DNA input. We performed NGS analysis of ctDNA from 44 patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) and 35 patients with metastatic colorectal carcinoma (CRC). NGS detected EGFR mutations in 17/22 plasma samples from EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients (sensitivity 77.3%). The concordance rate between tissue and plasma in NSCLC was much lower for other mutations such as KRAS that, based on the allelic frequency and the fraction of neoplastic cells, were likely to be sub-clonal. NGS also identified EGFR mutations in plasma samples from two patients with EGFR wild type tumor tissue. Both mutations were confirmed by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) in both plasma and tissue samples. In CRC, the sensitivity of the NGS plasma analysis for RAS mutations was 100% (6/6) in patients that had not resection of the primary tumor before blood drawing, and 46.2% (6/13) in patients with primary tumor resected before enrollment. Our study showed that NGS is a suitable method for plasma testing. However, its clinical sensitivity is significantly affected by the presence of the primary tumor and by the heterogeneity of driver mutations.
Project description:Recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) recommended that patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing metastatic colorectal cancer could be treated with anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) cetuximab and panitumumab only in absence of Rat-Sarcoma (<i>RAS</i>) mutations. In addition to the previously established biomarker Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (<i>KRAS</i>) exon 2, cumulative evidence also shows that patients whose tumors harbor <i>KRAS</i> exons 3 or 4 and neuroblastoma rat-sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (NRAS) exons 2, 3, and 4 mutations are found unlikely to benefit from anti-EGFR treatment.In line with the resistance of <i>RAS</i> mutated (mt) tumors, treatment response in <i>BRAF</i>mt tumors may also be altered given their important role in the EGFR signaling pathway. However, <i>BRAF</i> is not recommended as predictive biomarker yet because the evidence for the impact of <i>BRAF</i> mutations on treatment outcome is considered insufficient.This article summarizes the evidence for the impact of <i>BRAF</i> mutations on treatment outcome of anti-EGFR mAbs. Based on a review of literature, eight meta-analyses were included that consistently show that patients with <i>BRAF</i> mutations have a lack of treatment benefit of anti-EGFR mAbs. After discussing the quality and quantity of available evidence, we conclude that evidence is stronger than suggested by ESMO and ASCO. Additionally, we highlight that the quality of evidence for <i>BRAF</i> is even higher than for extended <i>RAS</i> as a biomarker. We therefore advise ESMO and ASCO to reconsider <i>BRAF</i> status as a predictive biomarker for response.<h4>Implications for practice</h4>In metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), therapy with anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies cetuximab and panitumumab is indicated in absence of <i>RAS</i> mutations. Cumulative evidence shows that patients with <i>BRAF</i> mutations, who comprise 10% of the mCRC population, do not benefit from anti-EGFR-antibody treatment. Although guidelines state that evidence for <i>BRAF</i> as a predictive marker is insufficient, we highlight that the quality and quantity of evidence is higher than suggested. We therefore encourage the use of <i>BRAF</i> as a predictive marker in order to exclude patients from therapy for whom limited treatment benefit is expected.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Colorectal cancer (CRC) has been shown to acquire RAS and EGFR ectodomain mutations as mechanisms of resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition (anti-EGFR). After anti-EGFR withdrawal, RAS and EGFR mutant clones lack a growth advantage relative to other clones and decay; however, the kinetics of decay remain unclear. We sought to determine the kinetics of acquired RAS/EGFR mutations after discontinuation of anti-EGFR therapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS:We present the post-progression circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) profiles of 135 patients with RAS/BRAF wild-type metastatic CRC treated with anti-EGFR who acquired RAS and/or EGFR mutations during therapy. Our validation cohort consisted of an external dataset of 73 patients with a ctDNA profile suggestive of prior anti-EGFR exposure and serial sampling. A separate retrospective cohort of 80 patients was used to evaluate overall response rate and progression free survival during re-challenge therapies. RESULTS:Our analysis showed that RAS and EGFR relative mutant allele frequency decays exponentially (r2=0.93 for RAS; r2=0.94 for EGFR) with a cumulative half-life of 4.4?months. We validated our findings using an external dataset of 73 patients with a ctDNA profile suggestive of prior anti-EGFR exposure and serial sampling, confirming exponential decay with an estimated half-life of 4.3?months. A separate retrospective cohort of 80 patients showed that patients had a higher overall response rate during re-challenge therapies after increasing time intervals, as predicted by our model. CONCLUSION:These results provide scientific support for anti-EGFR re-challenge and guide the optimal timing of re-challenge initiation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Direct comparisons between Guardant360 (G360) circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and FoundationOne (F1) tumor biopsy genomic profiling in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) are limited. We aim to assess the concordance across overlapping genes tested in both F1 and G360 in patients with mCRC. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We retrospectively analyzed 75 patients with mCRC who underwent G360 and F1 testing. We evaluated the concordance among gene mutations tested by both G360 and F1 among three categories of patients: untreated, treated without, and treated with EGFR inhibitors, while considering the clonal and/or subclonal nature of each genomic alteration. RESULTS:There was a high rate of concordance in APC, TP53, KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF mutations in the treatment-naive and non-anti-EGFR-treated cohorts. There was increased discordance in the anti-EGFR treated patients in three drivers of anti-EGFR resistance: KRAS, NRAS, and EGFR somatic mutations. Based on percentage of ctDNA, discordant somatic mutations were mostly subclonal instead of clonal and may have limited clinical significance. Most discordant amplifications noted on G360 showed the magnitude below the top decile, occurred in all three cohorts of patients, and were of unknown clinical significance. Serial ctDNA in anti-EGFR treated patients showed the emergence of multiple new alterations that affected the EGFR pathway: EGFR and RAS mutations and MET, RAS, and BRAF amplifications. CONCLUSION:G360 Next-Generation Sequencing platform may be used as an alternative to F1 to detect targetable somatic alterations in non-anti-EGFR treated mCRC, but larger prospective studies are needed to further validate our findings. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:Genomic analysis of tissue biopsy is currently the optimal method for identifying DNA genomic alterations to help physicians target specific genes but has many disadvantages that may be mitigated by a circulating free tumor DNA (ctDNA) assay. This study showed a high concordance rate in certain gene mutations in patients who were treatment naive and treated with non-anti-EGFR therapy prior to ctDNA testing. This suggests that ctDNA genomic analysis may potentially be used as an alternative to tumor biopsy to identify appropriate patients for treatment selection in mCRC, but larger prospective studies are needed to further validate concordance among tissue and ctDNA tumor profiling.