Clinical response to apatinib monotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer

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Apatinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor mainly targeting VEGFR-2, exerts both antiangiogenesis and antiproliferation effects. Apatinib shows clinical benefit in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at an initial dose of 750 mg qd. We further assessed the efficacy and safety of apatinib at a more frequently used dose of 500 mg qd. The preliminary clinical outcome of apatinib in patients with brain metastases was also reported.


We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 25 patients who received apatinib between August 2015 and May 2016. Progression-free survival (PFS) was calculated by using the Kaplan–Meier method.


The objective response rate and disease control rate were 8.0% and 68.0%, respectively. The median PFS was 5.17 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.76–9.57) months. In the second-line setting (n = 13), the median PFS was 7.37 (95% CI: 0.01–14.72) months, whereas the median PFS for the 12 patients treated with apatinib as third line or beyond therapy was 5.17 (95% CI: 1.78–8.55) months. Of the seven patients with brain metastases, four patients had stable disease. All patients were well tolerant to apatinib without any grade 3 or 4 adverse events. The most common grade 1 or 2 adverse events included hypertension (72.0%), hand-foot-skin reaction (24.0%), fatigue (24.0%) and abnormal liver function (20.0%).


Apatinib is effective and well tolerated in patients with advanced NSCLC, even at a dosage of 500 mg qd, and might offer a new option for the treatment of such patients with brain metastases.

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