Outcomes of Older Patients (≥ 70 Years) Treated With Targeted Therapy in Metastatic Chemorefractory Colorectal Cancer: Retrospective Analysis of NCIC CTG CO.17 and CO.20 Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:The safety and efficacy of targeted therapy in older patients (≥ 70 years) with metastatic colorectal cancer is not well evaluated. PATIENTS AND METHODS:Outcomes of older patients (including overall survival [OS], progression-free survival [PFS], toxicity, and quality of life [QoL]) were compared to young patients using data from 2 large previously reported clinical trials, CO.17 (cetuximab vs. best supportive care) and CO.20 (cetuximab plus placebo vs. cetuximab plus brivanib). Only patients with wild-type KRAS tumors were included. RESULTS:A total of 251 (26.3%) of 955 patients were ≥ 70 years old. No significant differences in OS, PFS, or grade 3/4 adverse events were observed between older and younger patients treated with cetuximab (or cetuximab with placebo) in either trial. Younger patients trended toward superior OS in both CO.17 (hazard ratio = 1.80; P = .16) and CO.20 (hazard ratio = 1.34; P = .07). QoL maintenance favored younger patients in CO.17 (3.6 vs. 5.7 months; P = .046) but no difference of QoL maintenance was observed in the larger CO.20 trial (1.7 vs. 1.8 months; P = .64). Combination therapy of cetuximab and brivanib was significantly more toxic in older adults (87% vs. 77%; P = .03). CONCLUSION:OS, PFS, and toxicities were similar between older and younger patients with wild-type KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer when treated with cetuximab. Both age groups likely experience similar QoL maintenance with cetuximab. Dual targeted therapy was significantly more toxic in older patients.


  • Wells, JC
  • Tu, D
  • Siu, LL
  • Shapiro, JD
  • Jonker, DJ
  • Karapetis, CS
  • Simes, J
  • Liu, G
  • Price, TJ
  • Tebbutt, Niall
  • O'Callaghan, CJ

publication date

  • 2018

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