A phase II trial of induction of erlotinib followed by cytotoxic chemotherapy for EGFR mutation-positive non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients

Tetsuo Tani, Katsuhiko Naoki, Hiroyuki Yasuda, Daisuke Arai, Kota Ishioka, Keiko Ohgino, Satoshi Yoda, Sohei Nakayama, Ryosuke Satomi, Hideki Terai, Shinnosuke Ikemura, Takashi Sato, Kenzo Soejima

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: No consensus has been reached regarding the treatment order and timing of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) and cytotoxic chemotherapy administration for EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Methods: In this phase II trial, chemotherapy-naïve patients harboring activating EGFR mutations with stage IIIB/IV or post-surgical recurrent non-squamous NSCLC were enrolled. Patients were treated with erlotinib induction at 150 mg/day for 3 months. This was followed by cytotoxic chemotherapy with platinum plus pemetrexed, with or without bevacizumab, when the induction erlotinib achieved a CR or PR. The primary end point was the 1-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate, while the secondary end points were the response rate (RR), PFS, safety, and overall survival (OS). Results: Twenty patients were enrolled in this study. The median age was 63 years. Eighteen patients had stage IV disease, and 2 patients had recurrent disease. Eleven patients achieved a PR after induction of erlotinib and 9 out of 11 patients were switched to chemotherapy. The 1-year PFS rate was 45.0% (90% CI 26.8–63.2), the overall RR was 55.0%, and the median PFS was 10.7 months in the intention-to-treat (ITT) population. Grade 3–4 adverse events were reported for 40% of the patients, including patients with leukopenia (10%), neutropenia (20%), and interstitial pneumonitis, bacterial pneumonia, rash, and nausea (all 5%). Conclusions: The primary end point of this study was not achieved. However, the therapy was well tolerated and may be a treatment option for a future study with patients responsive to short-term erlotinib treatment. Clinical trials registration number: UMIN ID: 000013125.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019 Jan 1



  • Bevacizumab
  • EGFR mutation
  • Erlotinib
  • Pemetrexed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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