T. Kuwako, H. Imai, T. Masuda
Aug 8, 2015
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
PurposeThe efficacy of gefitinib [an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor] in elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and EGFR mutation has not been elucidated. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy and feasibility of gefitinib in elderly chemotherapy-naive patients with NSCLC harboring sensitive EGFR mutations.MethodsWe retrospectively evaluated the clinical effects of gefitinib as a first-line treatment for elderly (≥75 years) NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletion or exon 21 L858R mutation). All patients were initially treated with gefitinib (250 mg/day) at seven institutions.ResultsBetween January 2006 and December 2012, 62 patients (17 men, 45 women) with a median age of 80 years (range, 75–89 years) were included in our analysis. The overall response and disease control rates were 61.2 and 83.8 %, respectively, and the median progression-free survival and overall survival were 13.2 and 19.0 months, respectively. Common adverse events included rash, diarrhea, and liver dysfunction. Major grade 3 or 4 toxicities included skin rash (3.2 %) and increased levels of aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase (21.0 %). Gefitinib treatment was discontinued owing to adverse events of liver dysfunction in 3 patients, drug-induced pneumonitis in 2, and diarrhea in 1.ConclusionFirst-line gefitinib could be a preferable standard treatment in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC harboring sensitive EGFR mutations.