Background: Previous clinical trials have demonstrated the potential efficacy of rechallenge with anti- epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for patients with RAS/BRAF V600E wild-type metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Moreover, post hoc biomarker analyses of clinical trials has suggested that RAS status in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) has a high probability to select patients who could benefit from anti-EGFR mAb rechallenge. Methods: This trial is composed of 2 phases: a monitoring phase (REMARRY) and a trial phase (PURSUIT). A monitoring phase, the REMARRY study, aims to evaluate the dynamics of plasma RAS status during the subsequent treatments after refractory to anti-EGFR therapy in patients with mCRC with RAS/BRAF V600E wild-type tumors who have progressed after a response to previous anti-EGFR therapy, using a highly sensitive digital polymerase chain reaction OncoBEAM RAS CRC kit in a central laboratory (Sysmex, Japan). A trial phase, the PURSUIT trial, is a multicenter, single-arm phase II trial to assess the efficacy and safety of rechallenge therapy with panitumumab plus irinotecan in patients without RAS mutations in ctDNA (plasma RAS negative) in the REMARRY study. Key eligibility criteria of the PURSUIT trial include RAS/BRAF V600E wild-type mCRC in tumor tissue refractory or intolerant to fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan; progression after complete or partial response to previous anti-EGFR therapy; plasma RAS negative (defined as plasma mutant allele frequencies [MAF] of all RAS ≤ 0.1%) within 28 days prior to enrollment; 4 months or more between the last administration of previous anti-EGFR mAb and the start of protocol treatment; and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status (PS) ≤ 1. The primary endpoint is the confirmed objective response rate (ORR). The target sample size of the PURSUIT trial is 50 patients. Biomarker analyses will be performed in parallel using the OncoBEAM RAS CRC kit and a next-generation sequencing-based ctDNA analysis (Guardant360). Discussion: Our trial aims to confirm the clinical benefit of anti-EGFR mAb rechallenge therapy in patients with plasma RAS negative. Moreover, through biomarker analyses, our trial will shed light on which patients would benefit from rechallenge in addition to being plasma RAS negative. Trial registration: The REMARRY study: UMIN, UMIN000036424. Registered date: April 5, 2019. The PURSUIT trial: jRCT, jRCTs031190096. Registered date: October 1, 2019.
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