Pooled safety analysis of EGFR-TKI treatment for EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer

Masayuki Takeda, Isamu Okamoto, Kazuhiko Nakagawa

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144 Citations (Scopus)


Three epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) - afatinib, erlotinib, and gefitinib - are available for the treatment of patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Given the long-term exposure of such patients to EGFR-TKIs, the toxicological properties of these agents in these individuals may differ from those observed in unselected patients. We compared the frequencies of severe adverse events (AEs) among EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC patients treated with these three EGFR-TKIs. Materials and methods: We performed a pooled analysis of severe AEs according to the type of EGFR-TKI administered with the use of data extracted from prospective clinical trials that evaluated the clinical efficacy of gefitinib, erlotinib, or afatinib in NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations. Results: Twenty-one trials published between 2006 and 2014 and including 1468 patients were eligible for analysis. Patients in 13 trials (. n=. 457) received gefitinib, those in 5 trials (. n=. 513) received erlotinib, and those in 3 trials (. n=. 498) received afatinib. Rash and diarrhea of grade ≥3 were significantly more frequent with afatinib therapy than with erlotinib or gefitinib therapy. The frequency of interstitial lung disease (ILD) of grade ≥3 was low (0.6-2.2%) with all three EGFR-TKIs and did not differ significantly among them. Gefitinib was associated with a significantly higher frequency of hepatotoxicity of grade ≥3 compared with erlotinib or afatinib. The overall frequency of AEs leading to treatment withdrawal was 6.1% (83 of 1354 evaluable patients), with such AEs occurring significantly more often with afatinib or gefitinib than with erlotinib. The most common withdrawal AEs were skin toxicity, ILD, and hepatotoxicity. Conclusion: Such information on AEs should facilitate selection of the most appropriate EGFR-TKI for EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC patients with regard to mitigation of the risk for certain types of toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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