The value of additional bevacizumab in patients with high-risk stroma-high colon cancer. A study within the QUASAR2 trial, an open-label randomized phase 3 trial.
Huijbers A., van Pelt GW., Kerr RS., Johnstone EC., Tollenaar RAEM., Kerr DJ., Mesker WE.
INTRODUCTION: Patients with a high stroma percentage within the primary tumor have a poor prognosis. In this study, we investigate whether anti-angiogenic therapy might improve survival of patients with a stroma-high profile with potentially increased angiogenesis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tissue samples of the primary tumor of 965 colon cancer patients participating in the QUASAR2 trial were analyzed for tumor-stroma ratio (TSR). Stroma-high (>50%) and stroma-low (≤50%) groups were evaluated with respect to survival. RESULTS: Disease free survival (DFS) was significantly lower in the stroma-high group (HR 1.53, 95%CI 1.19-1.95, P = 0.001). No difference in DFS was seen with respect to treatment with capecitabine alone (CAP) or capecitabine with bevacizumab (CAPBEV) (Stroma-high HR 1.00, 95%CI 0.69-1.46, P = 0.996; stroma-low HR 1.02, 95%CI 0.75-1.41, P = 0.883). A significant difference in survival was seen comparing groups with or without vascular invasion (DFS P < 0.001). A correlation between vascular invasion and stroma-high was seen (χ2 -test P = 0.043). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: The TSR confirmed to be a strong prognosticator for disease-free survival in a selected high-risk patient population. No benefit was found in response to treatment with bevacizumab when stratified for TSR. TSR showed to have an additional prognostic value in patients with vascular invasion present in the primary tumor.