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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 6

of 'Systemic therapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer with an activating mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor'

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Erlotinib versus chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (OPTIMAL, CTONG-0802): a multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 study.
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Zhou C, Wu YL, Chen G, Feng J, Liu XQ, Wang C, Zhang S, Wang J, Zhou S, Ren S, Lu S, Zhang L, Hu C, Hu C, Luo Y, Chen L, Ye M, Huang J, Zhi X, Zhang Y, Xiu Q, Ma J, Zhang L, You C
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Lancet Oncol. 2011;12(8):735. Epub 2011 Jul 23.
 
BACKGROUND: Activating mutations in EGFR are important markers of response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The OPTIMAL study compared efficacy and tolerability of the TKI erlotinib versus standard chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC.
METHODS: We undertook an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial at 22 centres in China. Patients older than 18 years with histologically confirmed stage IIIB or IV NSCLC and a confirmed activating mutation of EGFR (exon 19 deletion or exon 21 L858R point mutation) received either oral erlotinib (150 mg/day) until disease progression or unacceptable toxic effects, or up to four cycles of gemcitabine plus carboplatin. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) with a minimisation procedure and were stratified according to EGFR mutation type, histological subtype (adenocarcinoma vs non-adenocarcinoma), and smoking status. The primary outcome was progression-free survival, analysed in patients with confirmed disease who received at least one dose of study treatment. The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00874419, and has completed enrolment; patients are still in follow-up.
FINDINGS: 83 patients were randomly assigned to receive erlotinib and 82 to receive gemcitabine plus carboplatin; 82 in the erlotinib group and 72 in the chemotherapy group were included in analysis of the primary endpoint. Median progression-free survival was significantly longer in erlotinib-treated patients than in those on chemotherapy (13.1 [95% CI 10.58-16.53]vs 4.6 [4.21-5.42]months; hazard ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.10-0.26; p<0.0001). Chemotherapy was associated with more grade 3 or 4 toxic effects than was erlotinib (including neutropenia in 30 [42%]of 72 patients and thrombocytopenia in 29 [40%]patients on chemotherapy vs no patients with either event on erlotinib); the most common grade 3 or 4 toxic effects with erlotinib were increased alanine aminotransferase concentrations (three [4%]of 83 patients) and skin rash (two [2%]patients). Chemotherapy was also associated with increased treatment-related serious adverse events (ten [14%]of 72 patients [decreased platelet count, n=8; decreased neutrophil count, n=1; hepatic dysfunction, n=1]vs two [2%]of 83 patients [both hepatic dysfunction]).
INTERPRETATION: Compared with standard chemotherapy, erlotinib conferred a significant progression-free survival benefit in patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC and was associated with more favourable tolerability. These findings suggest that erlotinib is important for first-line treatment of patients with advanced EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC.
FUNDING: F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (China); Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality.
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Department of Oncology, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, China. caicunzhou@yahoo.com.cn
PMID