Efficacy of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor agents in patients with RAS wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer ≥ 70 years

Demetris Papamichael, Guilherme S. Lopes, Curt L. Olswold, Jean Yves Douillard, Richard A. Adams, Timothy S. Maughan, Eric Van Cutsem, Alan P. Venook, Heinz Josef Lenz, Volker Heinemann, Richard Kaplan, Carsten Bokemeyer, Benoist Chibaudel, Axel Grothey, Takayuki Yoshino, John Zalcberg, Aimery De Gramont, Qian Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) affects many older adults. We investigated the efficacy and safety of adding anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) agents to doublet chemotherapy (DC) in older patients. Methods: Patients with RAS wild-type (WT) metastatic CRC (mCRC) receiving first-line DC + anti-EGFR (n = 1191) or DC alone (n = 729) from seven trials in the Aide de Recherche en Cancerologie Digestive database were included. The prognostic and predictive effects of age were investigated. Progression-free and overall survival (OS) were evaluated between age groups (≥70 vs <70) for DC + anti-EGFR. In addition, outcomes were compared between DC+/-anti-EGFR within age groups in three trials with a DC alone arm. Subsequently, the same analysis was conducted for left-sided tumours. Adverse events grade ≥3 (G3+) were compared between age groups. Results: Older (vs younger) patients receiving DC + anti-EGFR had similar progression-free survival (PFS) (8.7 vs 10.3 months; hazard ratio (HR) = 1.20 [0.96–1.49];p = 0.107) but inferior OS (21.3 vs 26.3; HR = 1.36 [1.08–1.72];p = 0.011). DC + anti-EGFR (vs DC alone) improved OS (23.9 vs 20.3; HR = 0.82 [0.70–0.95];p = 0.008) and PFS (11.2 vs 8.9; HR = 0.70 [0.60–0.82];p < 0.001) in younger but not older patients: OS (24.7 vs 17.6; HR [95% confidence interval {CI}] = 0.77 [0.58–1.04];p = 0.092) and PFS (9.1 vs 8.7; HR [95% CI] = 0.85[0.63–1.15];p = 0.287). In left-sided ‘only’ tumours, the following outcomes for older (vs younger) patients were observed. For DC + anti-EGFR, PFS 9 versus 11.2 months; HR1.10 (95% CI 0.83–1.46); p = 0.52, OS 25.6 vs 30.3 HR 1.32 (95% CI 0.97–1.79), p = 0.086. For DC + anti-EGFR (vs DC alone), PFS and OS for younger patients were 11.9 vs 9.2 months HR 0.60 (95% CI 0.47–0.78) p < 0.001 and 24.1 versus 23.3 months HR 0.84 (95% CI 0.67–1.04), respectively. For older patients, PFS and OS were 13.1 versus 8.5 months, HR 0.51 (95% CI, 0.28–0.93), P = 0.027 and 26.3 versus 16.5 months HR 0.49 (95% CI, 0.28–0.85), respectively. There was no significant difference in toxicity among different age groups. Conclusions: Older (vs younger) patients with mCRC RAS WT patients had comparable toxicity and efficacy with the addition of anti-EGFR agents to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Anti-EGFR
  • Cetuximab
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Older patients
  • Panitumumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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