Chemotherapy (CT) is recommended in numerous clinical guidelines for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and offers improved survival over best supportive care. However, many patients with advanced NSCLC never receive CT because of advanced age, poor performance status, comorbidities, or patient refusal. The epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib has shown antitumor activity and a favorable toxicity profile in pretreated patients with recurrent advanced NSCLC and was made available in a worldwide Expanded Access Program (EAP) to >37,000 patients who did not respond to standard treatment or were ineligible for or refused CT. A retrospective chart review of 1671 consecutive patients enrolled at 11 sites in the US arm of the EAP identified 198 patients with advanced NSCLC who had not received previous CT. All patients were treated with gefitinib 250 mg/d until treatment failure or toxicity occurred. Patients were treated for a mean of 4.7 months. The most common adverse events were diarrhea (31.3%) and rash (31.3%). Complete and partial response rates were 0.7 and 5.6%, respectively, and 40.6% had stable disease. Median survival was 6 months, and estimated 1-year survival was 29.7%. The majority of patients did not receive subsequent CT.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research