LUNG CANCER: The addition of chemotherapy to EGFR inhibitor therapy improved survival in advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC in two independent studies, compared with targeted therapy alone

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Jan. 27, 2020

SCIENTIFIC

The addition of chemotherapy to EGFR inhibitor therapy improved survival in advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC in two independent studies, compared with targeted therapy alone

Gefitinib Alone Versus Gefitinib Plus Chemotherapy for Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer With Mutated Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor: NEJ009 Study

Hosomi et al Journal of Clinical Oncology 38, no. 2 (January 10, 2020) 115-123.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor combined with cytotoxic chemotherapy is highly effective for the treatment of advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with EGFR mutations; however, little is known about the efficacy and safety of this combination compared with that of standard therapy with EGFR- tyrosine kinase inhibitors alone.

METHODS

We randomly assigned 345 patients with newly diagnosed metastatic NSCLC with EGFR mutations to gefitinib combined with carboplatin plus pemetrexed or gefitinib alone. Progression-free survival (PFS), PFS2, and overall survival (OS) were sequentially analyzed as primary end points according to a hierarchical sequential testing method. Secondary end points were objective response rate (ORR), safety, and quality of life.

RESULTS

The combination group demonstrated a better ORR and PFS than the gefitinib group (ORR, 84% v 67% [P < .001]; PFS, 20.9 v 11.9 months; hazard ratio for death or disease progression, 0.490 [P < .001]), although PFS2 was not significantly different (20.9 v 18.0 months; P = .092). Median OS in the combination group was also significantly longer than in the gefitinib group (50.9 v 38.8 months; hazard ratio for death, 0.722; P = .021). The rate of grade ≥ 3 treatment-related adverse events, such as hematologic toxicities, in the combination group was higher than in the gefitinib group (65.3% v 31.0%); there were no differences in quality of life. One treatment-related death was observed in the combination group.

CONCLUSION

Compared with gefitinib alone, gefitinib combined with carboplatin plus pemetrexed improved PFS in patients with untreated advanced NSCLC with EGFR mutations with an acceptable toxicity profile, although its OS benefit requires further validation.

 

 

Gefitinib Versus Gefitinib Plus Pemetrexed and Carboplatin Chemotherapy in EGFR-Mutated Lung Cancer

Norinha et al Journal of Clinical Oncology 38, no. 2 (January 10, 2020) 124-136.

PURPOSE

Standard first-line therapy for EGFR-mutant advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)–directed oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Adding pemetrexed and carboplatin chemotherapy to an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor may improve outcomes.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

This was a phase III randomized trial in patients with advanced NSCLC harboring an EGFR-sensitizing mutation and a performance status of 0 to 2 who were planned to receive first-line palliative therapy. Random assignment was 1:1 to gefitinib 250 mg orally per day (Gef) or gefitinib 250 mg orally per day plus pemetrexed 500 mg/m2 and carboplatin area under curve 5 intravenously every 3 weeks for four cycles, followed by maintenance pemetrexed (gefitinib plus chemotherapy [Gef+C]). The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary end points included overall survival (OS), response rate, and toxicity.

RESULTS

Between 2016 and 2018, 350 patients were randomly assigned to Gef (n = 176) and Gef+C (n = 174). Twenty-one percent of patients had a performance status of 2, and 18% of patients had brain metastases. Median follow-up time was 17 months (range, 7 to 30 months). Radiologic response rates were 75% and 63% in the Gef+C and Gef arms, respectively (P = .01). Estimated median PFS was significantly longer with Gef+C than Gef (16 months [95% CI, 13.5 to 18.5 months] v 8 months [95% CI, 7.0 to 9.0 months], respectively; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.39 to 0.66]; P < .001). Estimated median OS was significantly longer with Gef+C than Gef (not reached v 17 months [95% CI, 13.5 to 20.5 months]; hazard ratio for death, 0.45 [95% CI, 0.31 to 0.65]; P < .001). Clinically relevant grade 3 or greater toxicities occurred in 51% and 25% of patients in the Gef+C and Gef arms, respectively (P < .001).

CONCLUSION

Adding pemetrexed and carboplatin chemotherapy to gefitinib significantly prolonged PFS and OS but increased toxicity in patients with NSCLC.