Publication authors: Oppelt, K. A. Kuiper, J. G. Ingrasciotta, Y. Ientile, V. Herings, R. M. C. Tari, M. Trifiro, G. Haug, U.
Introduction: Biologics were approved for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer (CRC) based on favorable benefit-risk-assessments from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), but evidence on their use in the real-world setting is scarce. Based on descriptive analyses we therefore aimed to assess characteristics and survival of CRC patients treated with biologics using large healthcare databases from three European countries (Netherlands, Italy, Germany).
Methods: We included CRC patients treated with a biologic in 2010 or 2014 and characterized them regarding age, sex, comorbidities, and absolute survival.
Results: Among 4,758 patients, the mean age ranged from 64.8 to 66.8 years, the majority was male, and comorbidities used as exclusion criteria in RCTs were coded in up to 30% of these patients. The proportion of bevacizumab users decreased between 2010 (72–93%) and 2014 (63–85%). In 2014, the absolute 12-month survival in new users was 64% (95% CI 51–77%), 56% (30–80%), and 61% (58–63%) in the Dutch, Italian, and German database, respectively, varying by age and comorbidity.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that in the real-world setting, CRC patients treated with biologics are older and less selected regarding comorbidities compared to patients in RCTs, potentially explaining the relatively low 12-month survival we found. Treatment decisions in the real-world setting may require careful evaluation given that the risk-benefit ratio may vary depending on age and co-existing conditions.