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Study of Pembrolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy for Patients With Advanced Colorectal Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02375672
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 2, 2015
Results First Posted : October 8, 2021
Last Update Posted : February 16, 2022
Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Kathy Miller, MD, Hoosier Cancer Research Network

Brief Summary:
This is a multi-institutional, single arm, open-label, phase II study, including a safety run-in cohort. No randomization or blinding involved.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Colorectal Cancer Drug: Pembrolizumab Drug: mFOLFOX6 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

OUTLINE: This is a multi-center study.


mFOLFOX6 Treatment D1 and D15 (Cycle = 28 days)

  • Oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2 IV with
  • Leucovorin 400 mg/m2 IV followed by
  • 5FU 400 mg/m2 bolus and then 2400 mg/m2 via continuous infusion

Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) IV over 30 minutes every 3 weeks


The safety run-in cohort will include 6 subjects treated with 200 mg (fixed) IV infusion of pembrolizumab (MK-3475) every 3 weeks plus standard-dose mFOLFOX6 given every 2 weeks. These first 6 subjects will be followed for 4 weeks for dose limiting toxicities (DLT) before enrolling an additional 24 patients. If a DLT is observed in no more than 1 of 6 subjects, the trial will continue with enrolling subjects to the remainder of the phase II portion of the study. Otherwise, 6 additional subjects will be enrolled at dose level -1. If no more than one DLT is observed, then phase II will enroll subjects at dose level -1 for the total expected number of accrual.

Disease evaluation every 8 weeks or after every 2 cycles

Demonstrate adequate organ function as defined by the following laboratory values at study entry. All screening labs should be performed within 14 days prior to registration for protocol therapy.


  • Hemoglobin ≥ 9 g/dL (transfusions are acceptable)
  • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 1.5 × 10^9/L
  • Platelets ≥ 100 × 10^9/L


  • Serum creatinine ≤ 1.5 × upper limit of normal (ULN), or measured or calculated creatinine clearance (estimated by Cockcroft-Gault formula below or measured) ≥ 50 mL/min


  • Serum total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 × ULN
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST, SGOT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT, SGPT) ≤ 3 × ULN, unless evidence of liver metastases, then AST/ALT ≤ 5 x ULN

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Multi-Center, Single Arm, Phase II Study of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in Combination With Chemotherapy for Patients With Advanced Colorectal Cancer: HCRN GI14-186
Actual Study Start Date : May 28, 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 8, 2020
Actual Study Completion Date : October 8, 2020

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) + mFOLFOX6

Following the safety run-in cohort:

mFOLFOX6 Treatment D1 and D15 (every 2 weeks); Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) IV over 30 minutes (every 3 weeks)

Drug: Pembrolizumab
Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) 200mg IV over 30 minutes every 3 weeks
Other Name: MK-3475

Drug: mFOLFOX6

mFOLFOX6 Treatment D1 and D15 (Cycle = 28 days)

  • Oxaliplatin 85 mg/m^2 IV with
  • Leucovorin 400 mg/m^2 IV followed by
  • 5FU 400 mg/m^2 bolus and then 2400 mg/m^2 via continuous infusion

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Median Progression Free Survival (mPFS) [ Time Frame: From time of registration to the time of documented progression per RECIST 1.1 or subject death (estimate 14 months) ]

    Determine if pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in combination with chemotherapy improves median progression free survival (mPFS) compared to historical standards.

    Response Criteria - Evaluation of target lesions Complete Response (CR): Disappearance of all target lesions Partial Response (PR): At least a 30% decrease in the sum of the LD of target lesions, taking as reference the baseline sum LD Progressive Disease (PD): At least a 20% increase in the sum of the LD of target lesions, taking as reference the smallest sum LD recorded since the treatment started or the appearance of one or more new lesions Stable Disease (SD): Neither sufficient shrinkage to qualify for PR nor sufficient increase to qualify for PD, taking as reference the smallest sum LD since the treatment started

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Disease Assessment for Objective Response Rate (ORR) [ Time Frame: Begin C1D1 and every 8 weeks thereafter (up to 24 months) ]
    To determine the number of patients who achieve complete response and partial response per irRC criteria.

  2. Disease Assessment for Disease Control Rate [ Time Frame: Begin C1D1 and every 8 weeks thereafter (up to 24 months) per RECIST 1.1 criteria ]
    Disease control rate (DCR), defined as the sum of subjects with complete response, partial response and stable disease per RECIST 1.1 criteria.

  3. Overall Survival (OS) [ Time Frame: Subject should be followed from time of registration till the time of subject death up to a maximum 35.5 months ]
    Overall Survival (OS) reported as number of subject alive at a median followup time of 19.9 months.

  4. Number of Patients With Grade 3 or Higher Treatment Related Adverse Event [ Time Frame: Begin C1D1 and very 2 weeks (Day 1) for up to 24 months ]

    To assess safety and tolerability of mFOLFOX6 and pembrolizumab (MK-3475) combination chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer per CTCAE v4.0.

    Events are considered related if they assessed possible, probable or definite with study drug.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be willing and able to provide written informed consent for the trial and HIPAA authorization for release of personal health information. NOTE: HIPAA authorization may be included in the informed consent or obtained separately.
  • Be ≥ 18 years of age on day of signing informed consent.
  • Have a performance status of 0 or 1 on the ECOG Performance Scale within 14 days prior to registration.
  • Have histological or cytological evidence of colorectal adenocarcinoma with confirmation of metastatic disease either by pathologic or radiologic findings.
  • Have identified tissue from an archival tissue sample (preferably from a metastasis, but sample from primary tumor allowable) or newly obtained core or excisional biopsy of a tumor lesion.
  • Have had no prior systemic therapy for advanced or metastatic disease. Prior adjuvant therapy should have been completed at least 9 months from documentation of metastatic disease. Prior palliative radiotherapy allowed if toxicities resolved to grade 1 or baseline.
  • Have measurable disease according to RECIST v1.1 obtained by imaging within 28 days prior to registration.
  • Female subjects of childbearing potential should have a negative urine or serum pregnancy test within 14 days prior to study registration. If the urine test is positive or cannot be confirmed as negative, a serum pregnancy test will be required. Subjects of childbearing potential (regardless of sexual orientation, having undergone a tubal ligation, or remaining celibate by choice) are those who meet the following criteria: has not undergone a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy; OR has not been naturally postmenopausal for at least 24 consecutive months (i.e., has had menses at any time in the preceding 12 consecutive months).
  • Female subjects of childbearing potential should be willing to use 2 methods of birth control or be surgically sterile, or abstain from heterosexual activity for the course of the study through 120 days after the last dose of study medication

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Has clearly resectable colon cancer liver metastases (CCLM), for example oligometastatic disease involving only one lobe of the liver. Subjects with suspected resectable CCLM should undergo evaluation by a liver surgeon prior to enrollment to document the incurable nature of their disease.
  • Is currently participating in or has participated in a study of an investigational agent or using an investigational device within 4 weeks of registration. Subjects are not permitted to participate in another investigational drug study while being treated on this protocol.
  • Is unable to receive a port or peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC).
  • Has a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or is receiving chronic steroid therapy of prednisone ≥ 10 mg daily or any equivalent dose of corticosteroids.
  • Has previously undergone organ or bone marrow transplantation and is on immunosuppressive therapy
  • Has had major surgery or significant traumatic injury within 4 weeks of study registration. Subjects must have recovered adequately from the toxicity and/or complications from the intervention prior to starting therapy. A diagnostic or research biopsy does not exclude subjects from enrollment. Placement of a vascular access device such as a Port-A-Cath is not considered major surgery
  • Has baseline peripheral neuropathy/paresthesia grade ≥ 1.
  • Has a known additional malignancy within the past 3 years. Exceptions include treated localized basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, in situ cervical or vulvar carcinoma that has undergone potentially curative therapy, superficial bladder tumors (Ta, Tis & T1), ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast and low grade prostate cancer (Gleason sore 6). Any cancer curatively treated > 3 years prior to registration with no clinical evidence of recurrence is permitted
  • Has known active central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis. Subjects with previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are stable (without evidence of progression by imaging for at least four weeks prior to trial registration and any neurologic symptoms have returned to baseline), have no evidence of new or enlarging brain metastases, and are not using steroids for at least 7 days prior to trial registration.
  • Has an active autoimmune disease requiring systemic treatment within the past 3 months or a documented history of clinically severe autoimmune disease, or a syndrome that requires systemic steroids or immunosuppressive agents. Exceptions to the rule: subjects with vitiligo; subjects with resolved childhood asthma/atopy; subjects that require intermittent use of bronchodilators or local steroid injections; subjects with hypothyroidism stable on hormone replacement or patients with Sjögren's syndrome
  • Has a history of pneumonitis that required steroids or current pneumonitis.
  • Has known history of active tuberculosis.
  • Has an active infection requiring systemic therapy (≥ grade 2) for more than 3 days within 1 week of enrollment.
  • Is pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the trial, starting with the pre-screening or screening visit through 120 days after the last dose of pembrolizumab (MK-3475).
  • Has known hypersensitivity to fluorouracil (5FU), oxaliplatin, or other platinum agents.
  • Known hypersensitivity to pembrolizumab or any of its excipients.
  • Has known dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency (DPD) deficiency (testing not required)
  • Has received prior therapy with an anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, anti-PD-L2, anti-CD137, or anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) antibody (including ipilimumab or any other antibody or drug specifically targeting T-cell co-stimulation or checkpoint pathways).
  • Has known active Hepatitis B unless subject has been on antiviral agents for at least 2 months (baseline testing not required)
  • Has a known history of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Hepatitis C (baseline testing is not required).
  • Has received a live vaccine within 30 days prior to trial registration.
  • Has a history or current evidence of any condition, therapy, or laboratory abnormality that might confound the results of the trial, interfere with the subject's participation for the full duration of the trial, or is not in the best interest of the subject to participate, in the opinion of the site investigator.
  • Has known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the trial.
  • Has any other psychological, familial, sociological or geographical condition potentially hampering compliance with the study protocol and follow-up schedule. Those conditions should be discussed with the subject before registration in the trial.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02375672

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United States, Georgia
Emory University: Winship Cancer Institute
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30322
United States, Indiana
Indiana University Simon Cancer Center
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
United States, Ohio
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
Columbus, Ohio, United States, 43210
Sponsors and Collaborators
Hoosier Cancer Research Network
Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC
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Study Chair: Safi Shahda, M.D. Hoosier Cancer Research Network
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Kathy Miller, MD, Hoosier Cancer Research Network:
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Kathy Miller, MD, Principal Investigator, Hoosier Cancer Research Network Identifier: NCT02375672    
Other Study ID Numbers: HCRN GI14-186
First Posted: March 2, 2015    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: October 8, 2021
Last Update Posted: February 16, 2022
Last Verified: February 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Keywords provided by Kathy Miller, MD, Hoosier Cancer Research Network:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Colorectal Neoplasms
Intestinal Neoplasms
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Colonic Diseases
Intestinal Diseases
Rectal Diseases
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Antineoplastic Agents
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action