Triple-Drug Regimen Improves Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer with BRAF V600E Mutation

May 2019 Vol 10, No 5


Colorectal Cancer

Updated results from the safety lead-in of the phase 3 BEACON CRC clinical trial show a mature median overall survival (OS) of 15.3 months with the triple-drug regimen of encorafenib, a BRAF inhibitor; binimetinib, a MEK inhibitor; and cetuximab, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and BRAF V600E mutation.

This finding represents an improvement over the historical benchmark of 4 to 6 months for median OS with the current standard of care, said Scott Kopetz, MD, PhD, FACP, Deputy Chair for Translational Research, Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

The updated median progression-free survival (PFS) and updated confirmed overall response rate (ORR) for patients who received the triple-drug therapy in the lead-in study phase remain as previously reported—8 months for median PFS (95% CI, 5.6-9.3 months) and 48% for ORR (95% CI, 29.4%-67.5%).

A BRAF mutation is present in up to 15% of patients with metastatic CRC, with V600 being the most common. Patients with BRAF V600E mutations have poor survival rates, with a median survival of approximately 12 months, said Dr Kopetz.

BRAF inhibitors alone are minimally effective in this population “due in part to feedback through growth factor receptors such as epidermal growth factor receptor”, he said. By adding an EGFR inhibitor and a MEK inhibitor to the BRAF inhibitor, feedback reactivation of the MAP kinase pathway is blunted.

The ORR of 48% in the lead-in of the BEACON CRC study “is substantially better than historical controls, and it’s encouraging that our OS is a median of 15 months with reasonably mature data,” Dr Kopetz said. “This is encouraging, because these were patients who were either second- or third-line of treatment, and we’re seeing survivals that would exceed even what a first-line population would expect. This sets the stage for the phase 3 BEACON CRC results,” he added.

BEACON CRC is a randomized, open-label, global study evaluating the efficacy and safety of triple-drug therapy in patients with metastatic CRC and BRAF V600E mutation whose disease progressed after 1 or 2 regimens. The safety lead-in phase enrolled 30 patients, 29 of whom had a BRAF V600 mutation.

The patients received encorafenib 300 mg daily, binimetinib 45 mg twice daily, and cetuximab at the standard weekly dose of 400 mg/m2, then 250 mg/m2 once weekly. Overall, 60% of patients had received 1 previous therapy and 40% had received 2 therapies. At the data cutoff point (September 2, 2018), 6 patients were still receiving treatment.

The 6-month OS was 86.2%, and the 12-month OS was 62.1%.

Among the responders, 3 (10%) patients had a complete response and 11 (38%) had a partial response. Another 13 (45%) patients had stable disease. The ORR was 41%. The median duration of response was 5.5 months by local assessment and 8.2 months by central assessment. The duration of response was ≥6 months in 43% of patients by local assessment and 73% by central assessment.

“We’re encouraged by the durability of the regimen, acknowledging that durability with doublets is on the shorter side,” said Dr Kopetz.

The triple-drug therapy was generally well tolerated with no unexpected side effects. The most common grade 3/4 adverse events were fatigue (13%), anemia (10%), increased creatine phosphokinase (10%), increased aspartate aminotransferase (10%), and urinary tract infection (10%).


  • ❯ The historical OS benchmark in patients with metastatic CRC and BRAF V600E mutation is 4 to 6 months
  • ❯ The triple-drug regimen of encorafenib, binimetinib, and cetuximab as second- or third-line therapy in this patient population extended the OS to 15.3 months
  • ❯ The triple-drug regimen had no unexpected side effects, with fatigue (13%) being the most common grade 3/4 event

Breakthrough Therapy Designation

In August 2018, the FDA granted this triple-drug regimen a breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of patients with metastatic CRC and BRAF V600E mutation, as detected by an FDA-approved test, after treatment failure with 1 or 2 previous lines of therapy for metastatic disease.

Just before that, in June 2018, the FDA approved the combination of the 2 novel drugs—encorafenib and binimetinib—for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma.

Related Articles
The Effect of a Multidisciplinary Stoma Team on Anxiety and Distress in Patients Undergoing Colorectal Stoma Surgery
Alena Glass, BSN, OCN, RN, Martha Monroe, PhD, RN, Claire Davies, PT, PhD
July 2022 Vol 13, No 7
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most diagnosed cancer in the United States, representing 7.9% of all new cases.
The Screening Guidelines Are Changing: Spotlight on Colorectal Cancer
February 2022 Vol 13, No 2
Are you aware of the new screening guidelines?
Immunotherapy Doubles Progression-Free Survival in Advanced Colorectal Cancer Subset
October 2020 Vol 11, No 10
There’s a new standard of care in the first-line setting for a subset of patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
Last modified: August 10, 2023

Subscribe Today!

To sign up for our print publication or e-newsletter, please enter your contact information below.

I'd like to receive:

  • First Name *
    Last Name *
    Profession or Role
    Primary Specialty or Disease State