Analyzing the Importance of Biomarker Testing and MSI Status in mCRC

Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, discusses the significance of conducting biomarker testing in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in accordance with the results of the phase 2 CheckMate-142 trial.

Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, associate director of clinical research and associate director of adult oncology with Keck Medicine of University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the significance of conducting biomarker testing in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in accordance with the results of the phase 2 CheckMate-142 trial (NTC02060188).

The 2-year update of the CheckMate-142 trial investigating nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) looked at patients with microsatellite instability (MSI)-high and/or mismatch repair-deficient (dMMR). Lenz thinks that the data from this trial, which is showing the MSI status immune checkpoint inhibitors in the first line setting and has already been studied in the second- and third-line setting, will change the paradigm for treating patients with mCRC. Knowing what subgroup the patient is in, whether they have MSI-high disease, BRAF-mutated disease, or RAS-mutated disease, will dictate which treatment options physicians can offer.

These treatment options are now associated with significant clinical activity and little toxicity, which means there are choices now, so physicians don’t need to use chemotherapy in the first line for patients with unique molecular subgroups, according to Lenz.

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