Differential tumor response to therapy is partially attributed to tumor heterogeneity. Additional efforts are needed to identify tumor heterogeneity parameters in response to therapy that is easily applicable in clinical practice. We aimed to describe tumor response-speed heterogeneity and evaluate its prognostic value in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
Patients and Methods:
Individual patient data from Amgen (NCT00364013) and Sanofi (NCT00305188; NCT00272051) trials were retrieved from Project Data Sphere. Patients in the Amgen 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) arm were used to establish response-speed heterogeneity. Its prognostic value was subsequently validated in the Sanofi FOLFOX arms and the Amgen panitumumab+FOLFOX arm. Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards models were used for survival analyses.
Patients with high response-speed heterogeneity in the Amgen FOLFOX cohort had significantly shorter (P<0.001) median progression-free survival (PFS) of 7.27 months (95% CI, 6.12-7.96 mo) and overall survival (OS) of 16.0 months (95% CI, 13.8-18.2 mo) than patients with low response-speed heterogeneity with median PFS of 9.41 months (95% CI, 8.75-10.89 mo) and OS of 22.4 months (95% CI, 20.1-26.7 mo), respectively. Tumor response-speed heterogeneity was a poor prognostic factor of shorter PFS (hazard ratio, 4.17; 95% CI, 2.49-6.99; P<0.001) and shorter OS (hazard ratio, 2.57; 95% CI, 1.64-4.01; P<0.001), after adjustment for other common prognostic factors. Comparable findings were found in the external validation cohorts.
Tumor response-speed heterogeneity to first-line chemotherapy was a novel prognostic factor associated with early disease progression and shorter survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.