Molecular predictors of outcome with gefitinib and docetaxel in previously treated non-small-cell lung cancer: data from the randomized phase III INTEREST trial

Jean-Yves Douillard, Frances A Shepherd, Vera Hirsh, Tony Mok, Mark A Socinski, Radj Gervais, Mei-Lin Liao, Helge Bischoff, Martin Reck, Mark V Sellers, Claire L Watkins, Georgina Speake, Alison A Armour, Edward S Kim
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2010 February 10, 28 (5): 744-52
PURPOSE In the phase III INTEREST trial, 1,466 pretreated patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were randomly assigned to receive gefitinib or docetaxel. As a preplanned analysis, we prospectively analyzed available tumor biopsies to investigate the relationship between biomarkers and clinical outcomes. METHODS Biomarkers included epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) copy number by fluorescent in situ hybridization (374 assessable samples), EGFR protein expression by immunohistochemistry (n = 380), and EGFR (n = 297) and KRAS (n = 275) mutations. Results For all biomarker subgroups analyzed, survival was similar for gefitinib and docetaxel, with no statistically significant differences between treatments and no significant treatment by biomarker status interaction tests. EGFR mutation-positive patients had longer progression-free survival (PFS; hazard ratio [HR], 0.16; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.49; P = .001) and higher objective response rate (ORR; 42.1% v 21.1%; P = .04), and patients with high EGFR copy number had higher ORR (13.0% v 7.4%; P = .04) with gefitinib versus docetaxel. CONCLUSION These biomarkers do not appear to be predictive factors for differential survival between gefitinib and docetaxel in this setting of previously treated patients; however, subsequent treatments may have influenced the survival results. For secondary end points of PFS and ORR, some advantages for gefitinib over docetaxel were seen in EGFR mutation-positive and high EGFR copy number patients. There was no statistically significant difference between gefitinib and docetaxel in biomarker-negative patients. This suggests gefitinib can provide similar overall survival to docetaxel in patients across a broad range of clinical subgroups and that EGFR biomarkers such as mutation status may additionally identify which patients are likely to gain greatest PFS and ORR benefit from gefitinib.

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