A phase II trial of erlotinib monotherapy for pretreated elderly patients with advanced EGFR wild-type non-small cell lung cancer Cancer

Hiroyuki Minemura, Hiroshi Yokouchi, Keisuke Azuma, Ken Ichiro Hirai, Satoko Sekine, Kengo Oshima, Kenya Kanazawa, Yoshinori Tanino, Yayoi Inokoshi, Taeko Ishii, Yutaka Katsuura, Akio Oishi, Takashi Ishida, Mitsuru Munakata

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Erlotinib is an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which is an effective treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), especially those harboring activating EGFR mutations. A previous phase III trial suggested that patients with EGFR wild-type (EGFR-wt) NSCLC or elderly patients with disease progression after cytotoxic chemotherapy might benefit from erlotinib monotherapy. However, few studies have prospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of second- or third-line erlotinib monotherapy for elderly patients with EGFR-wt advanced or recurrent NSCLC. Methods: Pretreated patients aged ≥70 years with EGFR-wt stage IIIB/IV NSCLC or those with postoperative recurrence were enrolled and received oral erlotinib at a dose of 150 mg/day until disease progression. Primary outcome was the objective response rate (ORR). Secondary end points included the disease control rate (DCR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity profile. Results: This study was terminated early because of the results from a Japanese phase III trial (DELTA trial). Sixteen patients were enrolled between April 2010 and May 2013. The median age was 78 years (range 70-84 years). Six patients were female. Five patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0. Eleven (69%) patients had adenocarcinoma. Fifteen (94%) patients were treated with erlotinib as a second-line therapy. The ORR was 0% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0-17.1]. DCR was 56.3% (95% CI 33.2-76.9). The median PFS and OS were 1.7 months (95% CI 1.3-2.2) and 7.2 months (95% CI 5.6-8.7), respectively. The most commonly occurring adverse events included acneiform eruption (31.3%) and skin rash (25.0%). One patient developed grade 3 interstitial lung disease, which improved following steroid therapy. Conclusions: In pretreated elderly patients with advanced or recurrent EGFR-wt NSCLC, daily oral erlotinib was well tolerated; however, administration of the drug should not be considered as a second line therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number220
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 5


  • EGFR wild-type
  • Elderly
  • Erlotinib
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • PCR-invader


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