Purpose: Gefitinib is a small molecule inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase. We conducted a phase III trial to evaluate whether gefitinib improves survival as sequential therapy after platinum-doublet chemotherapy in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients and Methods: Chemotherapy-naïve patients with advanced stage (IIIB/IV) NSCLC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1, and adequate organ function were randomly assigned to either platinum-doublet chemotherapy up to six cycles (arm A) or platinum-doublet chemotherapy for three cycles followed by gefitinib 250 mg orally once daily, until disease progression (arm B). Patients were stratified by disease stage, sex, histology, and chemotherapy regimens. The primary end point was overall survival; secondary end points included progression-free survival, tumor response, safety, and quality of life. Results: Between March 2003 and May 2005, 604 patients were randomly assigned. There was a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival in arm B (hazard ratio [HR], 0.68; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.80; P < .001); however, overall survival results did not reach statistical significance (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.72 to 1.03; P = .11). In an exploratory subset analysis of overall survival by histologic group, patients in arm B with adenocarcinoma did significantly better than patients in arm A with adenocarcinoma (n = 467; HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.98; P = .03). Conclusion: This trial failed to meet the primary end point of OS in patients with NSCLC. The exploratory subset analyses demonstrate a possible survival prolongation for sequential therapy of gefitinib, especially for patients with adenocarcinoma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research