PURPOSE - Vismodegib, a Hedgehog pathway inhibitor, has preclinical activity in colorectal cancer (CRC) models. This trial assessed the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of adding vismodegib to first-line treatment for metastatic CRC (mCRC).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Patients were randomized to receive vismodegib (150 mg/day orally) or placebo, in combination with FOLFOX or FOLFIRI chemotherapy plus bevacizumab (5 mg/kg) every 2 weeks until disease progression or intolerable toxicity. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Key secondary objectives included evaluation of predictive biomarkers and pharmacokinetic drug interactions.
RESULTS - A total of 199 patients with mCRC were treated on protocol (124 FOLFOX, 75 FOLFIRI). The median PFS hazard ratio (HR) for vismodegib treatment compared with placebo was 1.25 (90% CI: 0.89-1.76; P = 0.28). The overall response rates for placebo-treated and vismodegib-treated patients were 51% (90% CI: 43-60) and 46% (90% CI: 37-55), respectively. No vismodegib-associated benefit was observed in combination with either FOLFOX or FOLFIRI. Increased tumor tissue Hedgehog expression did not predict clinical benefit. Grade 3 to 5 adverse events reported for more than 5% of patients that occurred more frequently in the vismodegib-treated group were fatigue, nausea, asthenia, mucositis, peripheral sensory neuropathy, weight loss, decreased appetite, and dehydration. Vismodegib did not alter the pharmacokinetics of FOLFOX, FOLFIRI, or bevacizumab.
CONCLUSIONS - Vismodegib does not add to the efficacy of standard therapy for mCRC. Compared with placebo, treatment intensity was lower for all regimen components in vismodegib-treated patients, suggesting that combined toxicity may have contributed to lack of efficacy.