Pre- And postoperative capecitabine without or with oxaliplatin in locally advanced rectal cancer: PETACC 6 trial by EORTC GITCG and ROG, AIO, AGITG, BGDO, and FFCD

Hans Joachim Schmoll, Alexander Stein, Eric van Cutsem, Timothy Price, Ralf D. Hofheinz, Bernard Nordlinger, Jean François Daisne, Jos Janssens, Baruch Brenner, Hans Reinel, Stephan Hollerbach, Karel Caca, Florian Fauth, Carla V. Hannig, John Zalcberg, Niall Tebbutt, Murielle E. Mauer, Sandrine Marreaud, Manfred P. Lutz, Karin Haustermans

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PURPOSE The PETACC 6 trial investigates whether the addition of oxaliplatin to preoperative capecitabine-based chemoradiation and postoperative capecitabine improves disease-free survival (DFS) in locally advanced rectal cancer. METHODS Between November 2008 and September 2011, patients with rectal adenocarcinoma within 12 cm from the anal verge, T3/4 and/or node positive, were randomly assigned to 5 weeks preoperative capecitabine-based chemoradiation (45-50.4 Gy) followed by six cycles of adjuvant capecitabine, both without (control arm, 1) or with (experimental arm, 2) oxaliplatin. The primary end point was improvement of 3-year DFS by oxaliplatin from 65% to 72% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.763). RESULTS A total of 1,094 patients were randomly assigned (intention to treat), and 1,068 eligible patients started their allocated treatment (arm 1, 543; arm 2, 525), with completion of protocol treatment in 68% (arm 1) v 54% (arm 2). A higher rate of grade 3/4 adverse events was reported in the experimental arm (14.4% v 37.3% and 23.4% v 46.6% for neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment, respectively). At a median follow-up of 68 months (interquartile range, 58-74 months), 157 and 156 DFS events were observed in arms 1 and 2, respectively (adjusted HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.82 to 1.28; P 5 .835). Three-year DFS rate was not different, with 76.5% (95% CI, 72.7% to 79.9%) in arm 1, which is higher than anticipated, and 75.8% (95% CI, 71.9% to 79.3%) in arm 2. The 7-year DFS and overall survival (OS) rates were not different as well, with DFS of 66.1% v 65.5% (HR, 1.02) and OS of 73.5% v 73.7% (HR, 1.19) in arms 1 and 2, respectively. Subgroup analyses revealed heterogeneity in treatment effect according to German versus non-German site location, without detectable confounding factors in multivariable analysis. CONCLUSION The addition of oxaliplatin to preoperative capecitabine-based chemoradiation and postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy impairs tolerability and feasibility and does not improve efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

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