We previously reported CHFR methylation in a subset of colorectal cancer (CRC; ∼30%) with high concordance with microsatellite instability (MSI). We also showed that CHFR methylation predicted for sensitivity to docetaxel, whereas the MSI-high phenotypes were sensitive to gemcitabine. We hypothesized that this subset of patients with CRC would be selectively sensitive to gemcitabine and docetaxel. We enrolled a Phase 2 trial of gemcitabine and docetaxel in patients with MSI-high and/or CHFR methylated CRC. The primary objective was Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) 1.1 response rate. Enrolled patients were treated with gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 and docetaxel 70 mg/m2 on day 8 of each 21-day cycle. A total of 6 patients with CHFR-methylated, MSI-high CRC were enrolled from September 2012 to August 2016. The study was closed in September of 2017 due to poor accrual prior to reaching the first interim assessment of response rate, which would have occurred at 10 patients. No RECIST criteria tumor responses were observed, with 3 patients (50%) having stable disease as best response, 1 lasting more than 9 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 1.79 months (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.28, not available [NA]) and median overall survival (OS) was 15.67 months (95% CI = 4.24, NA). Common grade 3 toxicities were lymphopenia (67%), leukopenia (33%), and anemia (33%). Although negative, this study establishes a proof-of-concept for the implementation of epigenetic biomarkers (CHFR methylation/MSI) as inclusion criteria in a prospective clinical trial to optimize combinatorial strategies in the era of personalized medicine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)