Mismatch repair-deficient (dMMR) and/or microsatellite instability-high (MSI) colorectal cancers (CRC) represent about 5% of metastatic CRC (mCRC). Prognosis and chemosensitivity of dMMR/MSI mCRC remain unclear. This multicenter study included consecutive patients with dMMR/MSI mCRC from 2007 to 2017. The primary endpoint was the progression-free survival (PFS) in a population receiving first-line chemotherapy. Associations between chemotherapy regimen and survival were evaluated using a Cox regression model and inverse of probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) methodology in order to limit potential biases. Overall, 342 patients with dMMR/MSI mCRC were included. Median PFS and overall survival (OS) on first-line chemotherapy were 6.0 and 26.3 months, respectively. For second-line chemotherapy, median PFS and OS were 4.4 and 21.6 months. Longer PFS (8.1 vs. 5.4 months, p = 0.0405) and OS (35.1 vs. 24.4 months, p = 0.0747) were observed for irinotecan-based chemotherapy compared to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. The association was no longer statistically significant using IPTW methodology. In multivariable analysis, anti-VEGF as compared to anti-EGFR was associated with a trend to longer OS (HR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.00-3.19, p = 0.0518), whatever the backbone chemotherapy used. Our study shows that dMMR/MSI mCRC patients experienced short PFS with first-line chemotherapy with or without targeted therapy. OS was not different according to the chemotherapy regimen used, but a trend to better OS was observed with anti-VEGF. Our study provides some historical results concerning chemotherapy in dMMR/MSI mCRC in light of the recent nonrandomized trials with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Keywords: chemosensitivity; colorectal cancer; deficient mismatch repair; metastatic; microsatellite instability.