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Early switching to de-intensified maintenance regimen is still a matter of debate in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The MARTHA trial, a S.I.C.O.G. phase III randomized trial, compared FOLOFIRI+bevacizumab (B) for 12 cycles (6 months) followed by B for up to 12 months (FOLFIRI +B*12 arm) vs FOLFIRI+B for 6 cycles (3 months) followed by capecitabine+B for 4 cycles followed by B for up to 12 months (FOLFIRI+B*6 arm). Chemotherapy-naïve mCRC patients were randomized, primary endpoint was progression free survival (PFS), with overall survival (OS) as a secondary endpoint. A novel analysis, the Death Pace Analysis (DPA), was performed to identify patients who benefited from a specific treatment. No PFS difference was seen in 198 enrolled patients (101 in FOLFIRI+B*12, 97 in FOLFIRI+B*6). A non-significant superior OS was observed for FOLFIRI+B*6 (HR 0.74, p 0.098). The DPA demonstrated that 14% of patients were identifiable as FOLFIRI+B*6-benefiting patients. According to a logistic regression analysis including 23 clinicopathological variables, baseline Hb was the only independent predictor of DPA-defined FOLFIRI+B*6-benefit status. Among patients with Hb ≤ 11.1 gr/dL a statistically significant prolonged OS was observed for FOLFIRI+B*6 over FOLFIRI+B*12 (median OS: 20.7 vs 12.6 months, respectively, HR 0.54, p 0.048). No survival difference was observed between arms in patients with Hb > 11.1. mCRC patients with low baseline Hb levels are better treated with FOLFIRI+B*6 first-line strategy. Possible biological explanations for this finding are being investigated.




V., F., M.T., I., B., M., G., V., L., M., R., C., … M., R. (2018). Predictive factors for 6 vs 12 cycles of Folfiri-Bevacizumab in metastatic colorectal cancer. Oncotarget, 9(2), 2876–2886. LK  -

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