ASCO 2015 Selective Internal Radiation Therapy with Y-90 Improves Outcomes in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

SUMMARY:The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 133,000 new cases of ColoRectal Cancer (CRC) will be diagnosed in the United States in 2015 and close to 50,000 are expected to die of the disease. Approximately 15-25% of the patients with CRC present with metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis (synchronous metastases) and 50-60% of the patients with CRC will develop metastatic disease during the course of their illness. About 10-20% of the patients with liver metastases have resectable disease, which may translate into long term survival. CRC patients with synchronous metastases tend to have more extensive disease with bilobar liver involvement. With the availability of more effective chemotherapy regimens and targeted systemic interventions, the median survival of CRC patients with metastatic disease has increased from 6 months in the 1990’s to 24 months. Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) or RadioEmbolization using radioisotope Yttrium-90 (Y-90) coated resin particles, a pure beta emitter, has demonstrated significant benefit for patients with unresectable liver metastases, in previously published studies. Y-90 resin microspheres are no bigger in diameter than a human hair and are introduced into the hepatic artery by initially accessing the femoral artery. The blood supply to the liver tumors is via the hepatic artery and these tumors tend to be hypervascular. The Y-90 resin microspheres become preferentially lodged in the narrow capillaries that surround liver tumors and selectively deliver a high dose of short-range beta radiation to the liver tumors. The physical properties of Y-90 resin microspheres facilitate even distribution of radioactivity within and around the liver metastases.SIRFLOX is an International, multi-center, open-label, randomized phase III study, which evaluated the efficacy and safety of combining modified FOLFOX6 (Oxaliplatin, 5-FU and Leucovorin) chemotherapy regimen with or without AVASTIN® (Bevacizumab) with SIRT, using Y-90 resin microspheres, as first line treatment in patients with unresectable liver only or liver dominant metastatic ColoRectal Cancer (mCRC). The randomization included 530 patients of whom 263 patients received mFOLFOX6 with or without AVASTIN® (Group A) and 267 patients received mFOLFOX6 + SIRT administered once with cycle 1, with or without AVASTIN® (Group B), with the treatment given until disease progression. Patients were stratified based on the extent of liver involvement (25% or less versus more than 25%), presence of extra hepatic disease (liver only versus liver dominant disease) and treatment with AVASTIN®, which was at the discretion of the attending physician. Forty percent of the patients had extra hepatic disease. The primary endpoint was Progression Free Survival (PFS). With a median follow up of 36.1 months, the median PFS in the liver was 12.6 months versus 20.5 months in Group A versus Group B respectively (HR=0.69; P=0.002). The hepatic Response Rate was 68.8% versus 78.7% (P=0.042), with a Complete Response Rate of 1.9% versus 6.0% (P=0.02) in Groups A and B respectively. Even though hematologic and gastrointestinal adverse events were higher in the SIRT group, the toxicity levels were acceptable. The authors concluded that the addition of SIRT to chemotherapy resulted in a 7.9 month improvement in Progression Free Survival in the liver, for patients with unresectable metastatic ColoRectal cancer (mCRC), with a 31% reduction in the risk of tumor progression in the liver. With the liver being the most common site of spread in patients with metastatic CRC, this study provides Level One evidence to support the use of SIRT in combination with chemotherapy in this patient group. SIRFLOX: Randomized phase III trial comparing first-line mFOLFOX6 ± bevacizumab (bev) versus mFOLFOX6 + selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) ± bev in patients (pts) with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Gibbs P, Heinemann V, Sharma NK, et al. J Clin Oncol 33, 2015 (suppl; abstr 3502)</s