Association between Survival and Metastatic Site in Mismatch Repair-Deficient Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Treated with First-line Pembrolizumab

Bahar Saberzadeh-Ardestani, Jeremy C. Jones, Joleen M. Hubbard, Robert R. McWilliams, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, Qian Shi, Mohamad Bassam Sonbol, Jonathan Ticku, Zhaohui Jin, Frank A. Sinicrope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) with deficient DNA mismatch repair (dMMR) shows frequent and durable responses to programmed cell death 1 blockade. While most of these tumors are sporadic and observed in older patients, first-line pembrolizumab data are limited to findings from the KEYNOTE-177 trial (A Phase III Study of Pembrolizumab [MK-3475] vs Chemotherapy in Microsatellite Instability-High [MSI-H] or Mismatch Repair Deficient [dMMR] Stage IV Colorectal Carcinoma). Objective: To investigate outcome with first-line pembrolizumab monotherapy in mostly older patients with dMMR mCRC at a multisite clinical practice. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study included consecutive patients with dMMR mCRC who received pembrolizumab monotherapy between April 1, 2015, and January 1, 2022, at Mayo Clinic sites and the Mayo Clinic Health System. Patients were identified from review of electronic health records at the sites, which included the evaluation of digitized radiologic imaging studies. Intervention: Patients with dMMR mCRC received first-line pembrolizumab, 200 mg, every 3 weeks. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary study end point was progression-free survival (PFS), which was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and a multivariable stepwise Cox proportional hazards regression model. Clinicopathological features, including metastatic site and molecular data (BRAF V600E and KRAS), were also analyzed along with tumor response rate, which was determined using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Results: The study cohort included 41 patients (median [IQR] age at treatment initiation, 81 [76-86] years; 29 females [71%]) with dMMR mCRC. Of these patients, 30 (79%) had the BRAF V600E variant and 32 (80%) were classified as having sporadic tumors. Median (range) follow-up was 23 (3-89) months. Median (IQR) number of treatment cycles was 9 (4-20). Overall response rate was 49% (20 of 41 patients), including 13 patients (32%) with complete responses and 7 (17%) with partial responses. Median (IQR) PFS was 21 (95% CI, 6-39) months. Liver as a site of metastasis was associated with significantly poorer PFS vs nonliver metastasis (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.40; 95% CI, 1.27-9.13; adjusted P =.01). Complete and partial responses were observed in 3 patients (21%) with liver metastasis vs 17 patients (63%) with nonliver metastases. Treatment-related grade 3 or 4 adverse events were observed in 8 patients (20%), 2 of whom discontinued therapy; there was 1 treatment-related death. Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found a clinically significant prolongation of survival in older patients with dMMR mCRC who were treated with first-line pembrolizumab in routine clinical practice. Furthermore, liver vs nonliver metastasis was associated with poorer survival in this patient population, which suggests that the metastatic site has implications for survival outcome..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E230400
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 22 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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