Characteristics and overall survival of EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors: a retrospective analysis for 1660 Japanese patients

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Abstract

Background

The Japan Guidelines of Lung Cancer Therapy recommend epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors as a first-line therapy for advanced/recurrent non-small cell lung cancer patients with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation. Although survival periods in recent reports of epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment have been getting longer, the reasons why are unclear. We investigated the survival, prognostic factors and real-world treatment of non-small cell lung cancer patients with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation in clinical practice.

Methods

Non-small cell lung cancer patients (n = 1660) who started first-line treatment from January 2008 to December 2012 were enrolled. Patients were diagnosed with epidermal growth factor receptor mutation-positive advanced/recurrent non-small cell lung cancer by histology or cytology samples. The primary objective was to estimate overall survival. The secondary objectives were to determine prognostic factors, real-world treatment patterns and efficacy of gefitinib treatment. We calculated the treatment exposure rate for each treatment category using the following formula: exposure rate = person-years for the treatment category/total person-years × 100.

Results

The median overall survival was 30.8 months. Sex, age, histology, epidermal growth factor receptor mutation type, clinical stage and performance status affected overall survival. The exposure rates for all epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors, gefitinib and platinum-doublet chemotherapy were 62.1, 46.4 and 8.5% respectively. Overall 56.1% of patients were administered gefitinib as first-line therapy, and 39.0% were treated with ≥2 epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor regimens. The median progression-free survival in the first-line gefitinib group was 11.4 months. Factors affecting prognosis were sex, histology, clinical stage and performance status.

Conclusion

Epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors, especially gefitinib, are major components of the treatment regimens for epidermal growth factor receptor mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer. Switching and re-challenging with epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors were also practiced in Japan.

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