Efficacy and safety-in analysis of short-course radiation followed by mFOLFOX-6 plus avelumab for locally advanced rectal adenocarcinoma
Background Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and short-course radiotherapy followed by resection has been gaining recognition in the treatment of rectal cancer. Avelumab is a fully human immunoglobulin that binds Programmed Death-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) and prevents the suppression of the cytotoxic T cell immune response. This phase II trial evaluates the safety and pathologic response rate of short-course radiation followed by 6 cycles of mFOLFOX6 with avelumab in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer
... LARC). Methods This study is prospective single-arm, multicenter phase II trial adopting Simon's two-stage. Short-course radiation is given over 5 fractions to a total dose of 25 Gy. mFOLFOX6 plus avelumab (10 mg/kg) are given every 2 weeks for 6 cycles. Total mesorectal excision is performed 3–4 weeks after the last cycle of avelumab. Follow up after surgery is done every 3 months to a total of 36 months. Adverse event data collection is recorded at every visit. Results 13 out of 44 patients with LARC were enrolled in the first stage of the study (30% from total sample size). All patients met the inclusion criteria and received the full short-course radiation course followed by 6 cycles of mFOLFOX6 plus avelumab. 12 out of the 13 patients completed TME while one patient had progression of disease and was dropped out of the study. The sample consisted of 9 (69%) males and 4 (31%) females with median age of 62 (33–73) years. The first interim analysis revealed that 3 (25%) patients achieved pathologic complete response (pCR) (tumor regression grade, TRG 0) out of 12. While 3 (25%) patients had near pCR with TRG 1. In total, 6 out of 12 patients (50%) had a major pathologic response. All patients were found to be MMR proficient. The protocol regimen was well tolerated with no serious adverse events of grade 4 reported. Conclusion In patients with LARC, neoadjuvant radiation followed by mFOLFOX6 with avelumab is safe with a promising pathologic response rate. Trial Registration Number and Date of Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03503630, April 20, 2018. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03503630?term=NCT03503630&draw=2&rank=1.