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JOURNAL ARTICLE

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

Vanita Noronha, Vijay Maruti Patil, Amit Joshi, Nandini Menon, Anuradha Chougule, Abhishek Mahajan, Amit Janu, Nilendu Purandare, Rajiv Kumar, Sucheta More, Supriya Goud, Nandkumar Kadam, Nilesh Daware, Atanu Bhattacharjee, Srushti Shah, Akanksha Yadav, Vaishakhi Trivedi, Vichitra Behel, Amit Dutt, Shripad Dinanath Banavali, Kumar Prabhash
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2019 August 14, : JCO1901154
31411950

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.

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