Background: More than half of colorectal tumors harbor activating mutations in RAS/RAF proteins. Selumetinib (AZD6244, ARRY-142886) is a small molecule kinase inhibitor targeting MEK kinase, downstream of RAS. We examined the efficacy and safety of selumetinib with irinotecan in second-line therapy. Methods: Patients with K-RAS mutated colorectal cancer, progressing on first-line oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy with bevacizumab, were eligible for this multicenter openlabel phase I/II trial. In part A, a dose was determined using a standard "3 + 3" design; in part B, efficacy was determined. The primary endpoint was RECIST response rate. Historical data for irinotecan were used as reference. Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival and overall survival. Results: Thirty-two patients entered the study, and 31 were treated. All had K-RAS exon 2 mutated tumors. In phase I, the recommended oral dose of selumetinib was 75 mg twice per day with intravenous (IV) irinotecan, 180 mg/m2 every 2 weeks. Three patients (9.7%) had partial response. Sixteen patients (51.6%) had stable disease for ≥4 weeks, including three >1 year. The most common grade 3 adverse events included diarrhea, neutropenia, fatigue, anemia, nausea, and dehydration. The study was terminated before a pre-planned accrual of 45 subjects. Conclusions: Despite termination before full accrual, the point estimates of RR and median PFS show promising results, suggesting that further investigations of MEK inhibition in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer are warranted. Studies combining MEK inhibitors with cytotoxics or other targeted agents may lead to improved clinical activity based on the emerging preclinical data.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Colon cancer
- KRAS mutation