In a Phase I clinical trial, MD Anderson researchers found patients with advanced colorectal cancer responded well to a combination therapy of the drugs vermurafenib, cetuximab and irinotecan.
The study, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago, examines a specific mutation in the BRAF gene, which is present in 5 to 10% of colorectal cancer patients.
“What’s promising is the fact that we’re seeing these high response rates in early studies, which suggests this could become a new standard of care down the line,” says David Hong, M.D., associate professor in Investigational Cancer Therapeutics and lead author of the study. “There’s clearly some kind of synergistic activity with the combination.”
Scott Kopetz, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and senior author on the Phase I study, will lead a U.S. cooperative randomized Phase II trial of this combination in BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer.
Hong and Kopetz both receive research financial support from Genentech.