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Erlotinib (Tarceva)

Web Resources: Erlotinib (Tarceva)
Latest Research Publications

Web Resources: Erlotinib (Tarceva) (6 links)

Latest Research Publications

Kroeze SG, Fritz C, Hoyer M, et al.
Toxicity of concurrent stereotactic radiotherapy and targeted therapy or immunotherapy: A systematic review.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2017; 53:25-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Both stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) and immune- or targeted therapy play an increasingly important role in personalized treatment of metastatic disease. Concurrent application of both therapies is rapidly expanding in daily clinical practice. In this systematic review we summarize severe toxicity observed after concurrent treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched for English literature published up to April 2016 using keywords "radiosurgery", "local ablative therapy", "gamma knife" and "stereotactic", combined with "bevacizumab", "cetuximab", "crizotinib", "erlotinib", "gefitinib", "ipilimumab", "lapatinib", "sorafenib", "sunitinib", "trastuzumab", "vemurafenib", "PLX4032", "panitumumab", "nivolumab", "pembrolizumab", "alectinib", "ceritinib", "dabrafenib", "trametinib", "BRAF", "TKI", "MEK", "PD1", "EGFR", "CTLA-4" or "ALK". Studies performing SRT during or within 30days of targeted/immunotherapy, reporting severe (⩾Grade 3) toxicity were included.
RESULTS: Concurrent treatment is mostly well tolerated in cranial SRT, but high rates of severe toxicity were observed for the combination with BRAF-inhibitors. The relatively scarce literature on extra-cranial SRT shows a potential risk of increased toxicity when SRT is combined with EGFR-targeting tyrosine kinase inhibitors and bevacizumab, which was not observed for cranial SRT.
CONCLUSIONS: This review gives a best-possible overview of current knowledge and its limitations and underlines the need for a timely generation of stronger evidence in this rapidly expanding field.

Ma P, Zhang M, Nie F, et al.
Transcriptome analysis of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors resistance associated long noncoding RNA in non-small cell lung cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 87:20-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
The non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbor mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can be therapeutically targeted by EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI), such as gefitinib, and show improved progression-free survival. However, most of the patients who are initially responsive to EGFR TKIs with activating EGFR mutations eventually develop acquired resistance after long-term therapy, and are followed by disease progression. Recently, diverse mechanisms of acquired EGFR TKI resistance have been reported, but little is known about the role of long noncoding RNAs in EGFR TKIs resistance. To gain insight into the expression pattern and potential function of lncRNAs in NSCLC cells EGFR-TKI resistance, we analyzed expression patterns in EGFR-TKIs-resistant cell lines and compared it with their parental sensitive cell line by using gene profiling datasets from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Then, the expression levels of five chose lncRNAs were validated in PC9-gefitinib resistant cells (PC9G) and sensitive cells by using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). Among of these five lncRNAs, CASC9 expression was upregulated in PC9G and knockdown of its expression could increase the sensitivity of PC9G cells to gefitinib, while EWAST1 (LINC00227) is downregulated in PC9G cells and overexpressed EWAST1 also lead to increased sensitivity of PC9G cells to gefitinib. As indicated by GO analysis, the CASC9 and EWAST1 co-expressed genes are involved in several important pathways including regulation of cell growth, regulation of cell apoptosis and Chromatin assembly. Taken together, dysregulated lncRNAs play critical roles in EGFR-TKIs resistant NSCLC cells and might be used as novel potential targets to reverse EGFR-TKI resistance for NSCLC patients.

An N, Zhang Y, Niu H, et al.
EGFR-TKIs versus taxanes agents in therapy for nonsmall-cell lung cancer patients: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(50):e5601 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Currently, the nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a worldwide disease, which has very poor influence on life quality, whereas the therapeutic effects of drugs for it are not satisfactory. The aim of our PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the efficacy and safety of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) with Taxanes in patients with lung tumors.
METHODS: We collected randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of EGFR-TKIs (gefitinib, erlotinib) versus Taxanes (docetaxel, paclitaxel) for the treatment of NSCLC by searching PubMed, EMbase, and the Cochrane library databases until April, 2016. The extracted data on progression-free survival (PFS), progression-free survival rate (PFSR), overall survival (OS), overall survival rate (OSR), objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR), quality of life (QoL), and adverse event rates (AEs) were pooled. Disease-relevant outcomes were evaluated using RevMan 5.3.5 software and STATA 13.0 software.
RESULTS: We systematically searched 26 RCTs involving 11,676 patients. The results showed that EGFR-TKIs could significantly prolong PFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.78, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.66-0.92) and PFSR (risk ratio [RR] = 2.10, 95% CI: 1.17-3.77), and improve ORR (RR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.38-1.91) and QoL. EGFR-TKIs had similar therapeutic effects to taxanes with respect to OS (HR = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.95-1.05) and OSR (RR = 1.03, 95% CI: 0.94-1.14). Furthermore, there were no significant differences between them in DCR (RR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.88-1.03). Finally, EGFR-TKIs were superior to taxanes in most of all grades or grade ≥3 AEs.
CONCLUSION: In the efficacy and safety evaluation, EGFR-TKIs had an advantage in the treatment of NSCLC, especially for patients with EGFR mutation-positive. The project was prospectively registered with PROSPERO database of systematic reviews, with number CRD42016038700.

Niu M, Hong D, Ma TC, et al.
Short-term and long-term efficacy of 7 targeted therapies for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: a network meta-analysis: Efficacy of 7 targeted therapies for AHCC.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(49):e5591 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A variety of targeted drug therapies in clinical trials have been proven to be effective for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our study aims to compare the short-term and long-term efficacies of different targeted drugs in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (AHCC) treatment using a network meta-analysis approach.
METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Ovid, EBSCO, and Cochrane central register of controlled trials were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of different targeted therapies implemented to patients with AHCC. And the retrieval resulted in 7 targeted drugs, namely, sorafenib, ramucirumab, everolimus, brivanib, tivantinib, sunitinib, and sorafenib+erlotinib. Direct and indirect evidence were combined to evaluate stable disease (SD), progressive disease (PD), complete response (CR), partial response (PR), disease control rate (DCR), overall response ratio (ORR), overall survival (OS), and surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) of patients with AHCC.
RESULTS: A total of 11 RCTs were incorporated into our analysis, including 6594 patients with AHCC, among which 1619 patients received placebo treatment and 4975 cases had targeted therapies. The results revealed that in comparison with placebo, sorafenib, and ramucirumab displayed better short-term efficacy in terms of PR and ORR, and brivanib was better in ORR. Regarding long-term efficacy, sorafenib and sorafenib+erlotinib treatments exhibited longer OS. The data of cluster analysis showed that ramucirumab or sorafenib+erlotinib presented relatively better short-term efficacy for the treatment of AHCC.
CONCLUSION: This network meta-analysis shows that ramucirumab and sorafenib+erlotinib may be the better targeted drugs for AHCC patients, and sorafenib+erlotinib achieved a better long-term efficacy.

Zhang H
Three generations of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors developed to revolutionize the therapy of lung cancer.
Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016; 10:3867-3872 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer, ~80%-85% of which is non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Sensitizing mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene (EGFRm(+)), such as exon 19 deletions and exon 21 L858R point mutations, are the most important drivers in NSCLC patients. In this respect, small-molecule EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been designed and developed, which launched the era of targeted, personalized and precise medicine for lung cancer. Patients with EGFRm(+) could achieve good responses to the treatment with the first-generation EGFR TKIs, such as erlotinib and gefitinib. However, most patients develop acquired drug resistance mostly driven by the T790M mutation occurring within exon 20. Although the second-generation EGFR TKIs, such as afatinib, dacomitinib and neratinib, demonstrated promising activity against T790M in preclinical models, they have failed to overcome resistance in patients due to dose-limiting toxicity. Recently, the third-generation EGFR TKIs have shown to be effective against cell lines and murine models harboring T790M mutations while sparing wild-type EGFR, which represents a promising breakthrough approach in overcoming T790M-mediated resistance in NSCLC patients. This article provides a comprehensive review of the therapy revolution for NSCLC with three generations of EGFR TKIs.

Gridelli C, Chella A, Valmadre G, et al.
Second-line Erlotinib or Intermittent Erlotinib plus Docetaxel in Male Ex-smokers with Squamous NSCLC: The TALISMAN Randomized Trial.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6535-6540 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The TArceva and docetaxeL In former-Smokers MAle patients with recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (TALISMAN) phase II, open-label randomized trial evaluates the combination of erlotinib with docetaxel in the second-line therapy of ex-smoker males with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients received erlotinib 150 mg/day (arm A; n=36) or docetaxel 75 mg/m(2) on day 1 of each 3-week cycle and erlotinib 150 mg/day on days 2-16 of each cycle (arm B; n=38). The primary end-point was progression-free rate (PFR) at 6 months.
RESULTS: The study was prematurely interrupted due to slow enrolment. Three (8.3%) patients in arm A and 3 (8.1%) in arm B remained progression-free at 6 months. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 2.3 months in arm A and 2.8 months in arm B. Median overall survival (OS) was 5.6 and 8.9 months, respectively. Overall, 77.8% of patients in arm A and 89.2% in arm B experienced treatment-related adverse events (AEs).
CONCLUSION: Results do not support further investigation of the combination of erlotinib and docetaxel in this setting.

Pectasides D, Kotoula V, Papaxoinis G, et al.
Expression Patterns of Growth and Survival Genes with Prognostic Implications in Advanced Pancreatic Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6347-6356 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the mRNA expression pattern of growth- and survival-related genes and assess their prognostic significance in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In total, 98 patients were included in this retrospective translational research study and were evaluated for Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutational status, and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT1), AKT serine/threonine kinase 2 (AKT2), AKT serine/threonine kinase 3 (AKT3), cyclin D1 (CCND1), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1), hepatocellular growth factor receptor (MET), avian myelomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC), nuclear factor kappa B subunit 1 (NFKb1), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (FRAP1) genes mRNA expression. Among these patients, 73 received first-line gemcitabine combined with erlotinib (N=57) or gefitinib (N=16).
RESULTS: KRAS mutation did not correlate with mRNA gene expression. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering according to mRNA gene expression successfully distinguished four prognostically distinct groups of tumors. Overexpression of all genes was associated with best prognosis, while suppression or heterogeneous expression patterns of the examined genes were associated with expression patterns of growth- and survival-related genes, classifying pancreatic tumors into distinct groups with possibly different outcomes.

Liao BC, Lin CC, Lee JH, Yang JC
Update on recent preclinical and clinical studies of T790M mutant-specific irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
J Biomed Sci. 2016; 23(1):86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The first- and second-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (1/2G EGFR-TKIs) gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib have all been approved as standard first-line treatments for advanced EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer. The third-generation (3G) EGFR-TKIs have been developed to overcome the EGFR T790M mutation, which is the most common mechanism of acquired resistance to 1/2G EGFR-TKI treatment. This resistance mutation develops in half of the patients who respond to 1/2G EGFR-TKI therapy. The structures of the novel 3G EGFR-TKIs are different from those of 1/2G EGFR-TKIs. Particularly, 3G EGFR-TKIs have lower affinity to wild-type EGFR, and are therefore associated with lower rates of skin and gastrointestinal toxicities. However, many of the adverse events (AEs) that are observed in patients receiving 3G EGFR-TKIs have not been observed in patients receiving 1/2G EGFR-TKIs. Although preclinical studies have revealed many possible mechanisms for these AEs, the causes of some AEs remain unknown. Many mechanisms of resistance to 3G EGFR-TKI therapy have also been reported. Here, we have reviewed the recent clinical and preclinical developments related to novel 3G EGFR-TKIs, including osimertinib, rociletinib, olmutinib, EGF816, and ASP8273.

Shao Y, Yu Y, Zong R, et al.
Erlotinib has tumor inhibitory effect in human retinoblastoma cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 85:479-485 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: In this study, we explored the effect of erlotinib on the development of retinoblastoma (RB) cells both in vitro and in vivo.
METHOD: RB cell lines, Y79 and WERI cells were treated with various concentrations of erlotinib in vitro to assess their cytotoxic profiles. In vitro proliferation, cell-cycle transition and migration were compared between RB cells treated with erlotinib and cells without erlotinib treatment. In in vivo tumorigenicity assay, mice were injected with Y79 cells and orally fed with erlotinib for 28days. The effect of erlotinib on in vivo tumor grafts was then assessed. Western blot analysis on EGFR, ERK, AKT proteins and their phosphorylated proteins was also performed to assess molecular signaling pathways of associated with erlotinib in RB cells.
RESULTS: In vitro erlotinib treatment induced cytotoxicity in Y79 and WERI cells in dose-dependent manner. While Y79 and WERI cells were treated with erlotinib close to EC50 concentrations for 3days, RB proliferation, cell-cycle transition and migration were all significantly inhibited. In in vivo tumorigenicity assay, oral induction of erlotinib also dramatically reduced the growth of Y79 tumor grafts. Western blot demonstrated that, in in vitro RB cells, erlotinib did not alter the protein expression levels of EGFR, ERK or AKT, but significantly reduced the expressions of phosphorylated EGFR, ERK and AKT proteins.
CONCLUSION: Erlotinib was shown to have tumor suppressive effect on RB growth in vitro and in vivo, possibly through the inhibition on EGFR, ERG/AKT signaling pathways.

Ambrosio R, Ombra MN, Gridelli C, et al.
Isoflavone Extracts Enhance the Effect of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitors in NSCLC Cell Lines.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(11):5827-5833 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We investigated the effects of the pharmacological inhibition in vitro of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in combination with isoflavones.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four anticancer drugs (erlotinib, gefitinib, afatinib and AZD9291) were combined with soy and red clover isoflavone extracts and used in cellular proliferation assays. The antitumor activity of inhibitors alone and in combination with isoflavone extracts was compared on three non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines with affiant EGFR genotype: A549 (EGFR wt); H1795 (EGFR T790M); HCC827 (EGFR del E746-A750).
RESULTS: Combined treatment with extracts significantly enhanced the antiproliferative activity of all inhibitors against these cell lines. Bioactive compounds of extracts may synergize the antitumor efficacy of the inhibitors.
CONCLUSION: To date, as far as we are aware, this is the first report of the combined effect of isoflavone extracts and EGFR inhibitors on human NCSLC cell growth. Sequential treatment with these drugs combined with isoflavones may represent the basis for a new therapeutic approach.

Xu W, Gong Y, Kuang M, et al.
Survival Benefit and Safety of Bevacizumab in Combination with Erlotinib as Maintenance Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.
Clin Drug Investig. 2017; 37(2):155-165 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, the need for maintenance chemotherapy arose as a result of the significantly improved survival of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) without increasing adverse events. Currently used maintenance regimens are fluoropyrimidines, bevacizumab, and the combination of fluoropyrimidine with bevacizumab. A new combination with bevacizumab and erlotinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of the epithelial growth factor receptor, has shown synergistic effects in preclinical tests and promising results in some clinical trials. Whether bevacizumab combined with erlotinib vs. bevacizumab alone as maintenance therapy will further improve the clinical outcomes in patients with mCRC is controversial. We conducted this meta-analysis to compare the survival benefit and safety of these two regimens in patients with mCRC.
METHODS: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Central Registry of Controlled Trials of the Cochrane Library up to August 2016. We also searched the Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (1986 to August 2016). Abstracts were manually searched to identify relevant trials. A total of three randomized controlled trials with 682 patients met the inclusion criteria.
RESULTS: Our results demonstrated that bevacizumab combined with erlotinib significantly improved overall survival (hazard ratio 0.78; 95 % confidence interval 0.66-0.93; p = 0.006) and progression-free survival (hazard ratio 0.79; 95 % confidence interval 0.68-0.92; p = 0.002). Significantly more grade 3 rash, diarrhea, infection total, and fatigue were observed in the bevacizumab combined with erlotinib arm, which were controllable and reversible.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on current evidence, the addition of erlotinib to bevacizumab as maintenance therapy significantly increases overall survival and progression-free survival with an increased but manageable toxicity in patients with mCRC. It should be considered as a treatment option for these patients under the premise of a reasonable selection of the target population.

Yamamoto N, Goto K, Nishio M, et al.
Final overall survival in JO22903, a phase II, open-label study of first-line erlotinib for Japanese patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.
Int J Clin Oncol. 2017; 22(1):70-78 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In Japan, the clinical efficacy of erlotinib monotherapy in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer was demonstrated in the phase II JO22903 trial, which reported a median progression-free survival of 11.8 months. Here we report final overall survival data from JO22903.
METHODS: JO22903 (JapicCTI-101085) was a single-arm, multicenter, phase II, open-label, non-randomized study of first-line erlotinib monotherapy in EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer. Eligible patients (≥20 years) with stage IIIB/IV or recurrent non-small-cell lung cancer and confirmed activating mutations of EGFR (exon 19 deletion or L858R point mutation in exon 21) received oral erlotinib 150 mg/day until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoints were progression-free survival and safety; overall survival was a secondary endpoint.
RESULTS: At the final analysis, 102 patients were included in the modified intent-to-treat population and 103 in the safety population. Median follow-up was 32.3 months. Median overall survival was 36.3 months (95 % confidence interval 29.4-not reached). Subgroup analyses of overall survival suggested that the presence of brain metastases was a negative prognostic factor (median overall survival 22.7 months, 95 % confidence interval 19.6-29.4). The impact on overall survival of using versus not using EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in any line of treatment following disease progression was unclear (median 32.8 versus 36.3 months, respectively). No new safety issues were observed.
CONCLUSION: In this survival update, single-agent erlotinib achieved a median overall survival of more than 3 years in patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.

Zhang X, Ran YG, Wang KJ
Risk of severe rash in cancer patients treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Future Oncol. 2016; 12(23):2741-2753 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the incidence and risk factors of severe rash associated with the use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).
METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE and oncology conference proceedings were searched for articles published till March 2016.
RESULTS: A total of 18,309 patients from 37 randomized controlled trials were available for the meta-analysis. The overall incidence for severe rash was 6.6% (95% CI: 5.2-8.3%) among patients receiving EGFR-TKIs. The use of EGFR-TKIs significantly increased the risk of developing severe rash (risk ratio: 7.70; 95% CI: 5.79-10.23) in cancer patients. On subgroup analysis, the increased risk of severe rash was driven predominantly by drug type (p = 0.002).
CONCLUSION: EGFR-TKIs significantly increase the risk of developing severe rash in cancer patients.

He X, Zhang Y, Ma Y, et al.
Optimal tumor shrinkage predicts long-term outcome in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with target therapy: Result from 3 clinical trials of advanced NSCLC by 1 institution.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(31):e4176 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are used as standard therapies for advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with EGFR mutation positive. Because these targeted therapies could cause tumor necrosis and shrinkage, the purpose of the study is to search for a value of optimal tumor shrinkage as an appropriate indicator of outcome for advanced NSCLC.A total of 88 NSCLC enrollees of 3 clinical trials (IRESSA registration clinical trial, TRUST study and ZD6474 study), who received Gefitinib (250 mg, QD), Erlotinib (150 mg, QD), and ZD6474 (100 mg, QD), respectively, during December 2003 and October 2007, were retrospectively analyzed. The response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST) were used to identify responders, who had complete response (CR) or partial responses (PR) and nonresponders who had stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to find the optimal tumor shrinkage as an indicator for tumor therapeutic outcome. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to compare the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) between responders and nonresponders stratified based on radiologic criteria.Among the 88 NSCLC patients, 26 were responders and 62 were nonresponders based on RECIST 1.0. ROC indicated that 8.32% tumor diameter shrinkage in the sum of the longest tumor diameter (SLD) was the cutoff point of tumor shrinkage outcomes, resulting in 46 responders (≤8.32%) and 42 nonresponders (≥8.32%). Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses indicated that (1) the responders (≤8.32%) and nonresponders (≥ -8.32%) were significantly different in median PFS (13.40 vs 1.17 months, P < 0.001) and OS (19.80 vs 7.90 months, P < 0.001) and (2) -8.32% in SLD could be used as the optimal threshold for PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 8.11, 95% CI, 3.75 to 17.51, P < 0.001) and OS (HR, 2.36, 95% CI, 1.41 to 3.96, P = 0.001).However, 8.32% tumor diameter shrinkage is validated as a reliable outcome predictor of advanced NSCLC patients receiving EGFR-TKIs therapies and may provide a practical measure to guide therapeutic decisions.

Moon do C, Lee HS, Lee YI, et al.
Concomitant Statin Use Has a Favorable Effect on Gemcitabine-Erlotinib Combination Chemotherapy for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer.
Yonsei Med J. 2016; 57(5):1124-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Erlotinib-gemcitabine combined chemotherapy is considered as the standard treatment for unresectable pancreatic cancer. This study aimed to determine the clinical factors associated with response to this treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study included 180 patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer who received ≥2 cycles of gemcitabine-erlotinib combination therapy as first-line palliative chemotherapy between 2006 and 2014. "Long-term response" was defined as tumor stabilization after >6 chemotherapy cycles.
RESULTS: The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 3.9 and 8.1 months, respectively. On univariate analysis, liver metastasis (p=0.023) was negatively correlated with long-term response. Locally advanced stage (p=0.017), a history of statin treatment (p=0.01), and carcinoembryonic antigen levels <4.5 (p=0.029) had a favorable effect on long-term response. On multivariate analysis, a history of statin treatment was the only independent favorable factor for long-term response (p=0.017). Prognostic factors for OS and PFS were significantly correlated with liver metastasis (p=0.031 and 0.013, respectively). A history of statin treatment was also significantly associated with OS after adjusting for all potential confounders (hazard ratio, 0.48; 95% confidence interval, 0.26-0.92; p=0.026).
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that statins have a favorable effect on "long-term response" to gemcitabine-erlotinib chemotherapy in unresectable pancreatic cancer patients. Statins may have a chemoadjuvant role in stabilizing long-term tumor growth.

Gokce-Samar Z, Beuriat PA, Faure-Conter C, et al.
Pre-radiation chemotherapy improves survival in pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas.
Childs Nerv Syst. 2016; 32(8):1415-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The median survival of patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) remains less than 1 year. The BSG 98 pre-irradiation chemotherapy protocol showed a significant increase in overall survival. In contrast to current treatment strategies, patients did not have to undergo surgical stereotactic biopsy, which can sometimes lead to complications, to be included in this protocol.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all the cases of DIPG that were treated in our department from September 15, 2004 to September 15, 2014. We compared the group of patients who followed our BSG 98 protocol to those who were treated with new targeted therapy protocols where systematic biopsy was required.
RESULTS: Patients in the BSG 98 protocol were treated with BCNU, cisplatin, and methotrexate, followed by radiation at disease progression. Targeted therapy protocols included radiation therapy along with treatment by erlotinib, cilengitide, or an association of nimotuzumab and vinblastine. Sixteen patients were treated with the BSG 98 protocol, and 9 patients were treated with new targeted therapy protocols. Median overall survival was significantly higher in the BSG 98 group compared to the targeted therapy group (16.1 months (95 % CI, 10.4-19.0) vs 8.8 months (95 % CI 1.4-12.3); p = 0.0003). An increase in the median progression-free survival was observed (respectively, 8.6 vs 3.0 months; p = 0.113).
CONCLUSION: The present study confirms that the BSG 98 protocol is one of the most effective current treatment strategies for DIPG. It may be used as the control arm in randomized trials investigating the use of innovative treatments and may be proposed to families who are averse to biopsy.

Erdogan B, Kodaz H, Karabulut S, et al.
Impact of active smoking on survival of patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma harboring an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation.
Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2016; 16(4):280-285 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers demonstrates distinct genetic profiles, and cigarette smoking affects epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) function and causes secondary EGFR tyrosine kinase resistance. We evaluated the effect of active smoking in patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma. A total of 132 metastatic lung adenocarcinoma patients, diagnosed between 2008 and 2013, with known EGFR mutation status, were evaluated retrospectively. Among these patients, 40 had an activating EGFR mutation. Patients who continued smoking during the treatment were defined as active smokers. Former smokers and never smokers were together defined as non-smokers. The outcomes of the treatment in relation to the EGFR mutation and smoking status were evaluated. The median follow-up time was 10.5 months. The overall response rate for the first-line therapy was significantly higher among the EGFR-mutant patients (p = 0.01), however, smoking status had no impact on the response rate (p = 0.1). The EGFR-mutant active smokers progressed earlier than the non-smokers (p < 0.01). The overall survival (OS) of the non-smokers and patients treated with erlotinib was significantly longer (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01, respectively). Smoking status did not affect the OS in EGFR wild type tumors (p = 0.49) but EGFR-mutant non-smokers had a longer OS than the active smokers (p = 0.01).The active smokers treated with erlotinib had poorer survival than the non-smokers (p = 0.03). Multivariate analysis of EGFR-mutant patients showed that erlotinib treatment at any line and non-smoking were independent prognostic factors for the OS (p = 0.04 and p = 0.01, respectively). Smoking during treatment is a negative prognostic factor in metastatic lung adenocarcinoma with an EGFR mutation.

Kobayashi Y, Mitsudomi T
Not all epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in lung cancer are created equal: Perspectives for individualized treatment strategy.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(9):1179-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Somatic mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are present in approximately 20% (in Caucasians) to 40% (in East Asians) of adenocarcinomas of the lung. Targeted therapy for these lung cancers has been established based on evidence regarding mainly common mutations; that is, exon 19 deletions (Del19) and L858R. EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), gefitinib, erlotinib or afatinib showed high objective response rates (ORR) of approximately 60%. Several studies suggested that Del19 might be more sensitive to EGFR-TKI than L858R. On the other hand, it has been difficult to establish evidence for other less common mutations, accounting for 12% of all EGFR mutations, because there are many variants and many studies have excluded patients with these uncommon mutations. However, recent studies revealed that these rare genotypes could be targetable if appropriate TKI are selected. For example, G719X (X denotes A, S, C and so on), Del18, E709K, insertions in exon 19 (Ins19), S768I or L861Q showed moderate sensitivities to gefitinib or erlotinb with ORR of 30%-50%. However, afatinib appeared to be especially effective for these tumors. Although Ins20s (except for insFQEA) have been regarded as resistant mutations, osimertinib may be effective for rare subtypes of them and nazartinib (EGF816) is promising for the majority of them. For the further development of targeted therapy in all EGFR mutations, it is important to precisely detect targetable mutations, to select the most appropriate TKI for each mutation, and to continue investigating in vitro studies and collecting clinical data on even rare mutations.

Yamada K, Azuma K, Takeshita M, et al.
Phase II Trial of Erlotinib in Elderly Patients with Previously Treated Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Results of the Lung Oncology Group in Kyushu (LOGiK-0802).
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(6):2881-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: As the incidence of lung cancer in the elderly is increasing worldwide, there exists a need to develop a clinically effective, less toxic therapy for this patient population. Although erlotinib has shown proven effectiveness against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), few studies have prospectively investigated its application to elderly patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients aged ≥75 years with advanced or recurrent NSCLC including wild-type EGFR who had previously received one or two chemotherapy regimens were enrolled in this trial. Erlotinib was initially administered at a dose of 150 mg/day orally until disease progression or unacceptable toxicities occurred. The primary endpoint was the objective response rate.
RESULTS: Forty patients were enrolled between May 2009 and January 2014. An objective response was observed in 8 patients (20%, 95%CI=9.1-35.7%), and the disease control rate reached 62.5% (95%CI=45.8-77.3%). After a median follow-up period of 12.2 months (range=1.4-47.2 months), the median progression-free survival period was 5.0 months (95%CI=2.3-7.6 months), and the median survival period was 12.2 months (95%CI=6.1-24.7 months). Major toxicities were skin disorders, fatigue, and anorexia. Most adverse events were grade 2 or less, but 13 patients (32.5%) required a dose reduction. Two patients developed interstitial lung disease, that was nevertheless reversible, and there were no treatment-related deaths.
CONCLUSION: Although the percentage of patients requiring dose reduction seemed relatively higher than that in previous studies, erlotinib is a potentially useful therapeutic option for unselected elderly patients with previously treated advanced or recurrent NSCLC, as has been also shown for younger patients.

Kramer B, Hock C, Birk R, et al.
Targeted Therapies in HPV-positive and -negative HNSCC - Alteration of EGFR and VEGFR-2 Expression In Vitro.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(6):2799-807 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis plays a crucial role in the formation and progression of tumor growth in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The tyrosine kinase receptors epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) are essential for mediation of pro-angiogenic signals. Nilotinib, dasatinib, erlotinib and gefitinib are tyrosine kinase inhibitors and approved as targeted therapies for several tumor entities other than HNSCC. In this study, we sought to evaluate the alteration of EGFR and VEGFR-2 expression by these tyrosine kinase inhibitors with respect to the human papillomavirus (HPV)-status in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) tumor cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression patterns of EGFR and VEGFR-2 were determined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in HNSCC 11A, HNSCC 14C and p-16-positive CERV196 tumor cell lines. These cells were incubated with nilotinib, dasatinib, erlotinib and gefitinib (5-20μmol/l) and compared to a chemonaive control. The incubation time was 24, 48, 72 and 96 h.
RESULTS: All tested substances led to a statistically significant reduction (p<0.05) of EGFR protein expression levels in HPV-negative cells compared to the negative control. Surprisingly, a statistically significant increase in VEGFR-2 expression was observed after exposure to all tested substances especially after exposure to erlotinib treatment.
CONCLUSION: Nilotinib, dasatinib, erlotinib and gefitinib cause significant changes in protein expression of EGFR and VEGFR-2 in vitro. Besides the anti-angiogenic impact of the substances, as shown for the decrease of EGFR expression, we also observed an increase of VEGFR-2 expression. These contradictive effects could be interpreted as a compensatory up-regulation by the tumor cell.

Atagi S, Goto K, Seto T, et al.
Erlotinib for Japanese patients with activating EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer: combined analyses from two Phase II studies.
Future Oncol. 2016; 12(18):2117-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: We evaluated the efficacy and safety of erlotinib, and patient characteristics affecting progression-free survival (PFS), by analyzing data from two Phase II studies of first-line erlotinib in activating EGFR mutation-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.
METHODS: Data were combined from patients who received first-line erlotinib monotherapy in JO22903 (single-arm study; JapicCTI-101085) and JO25567 (randomized study; JapicCTI-111390).
RESULTS: Median PFS was 10.9 months in efficacy-evaluable patients (n = 177). Major adverse events were dermatologic; no new safety signals were observed. Baseline pleural/cardiac effusion notably affected PFS (yes median 8.0 months vs no median 15.3 months) as confirmed in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.25-0.58).
CONCLUSION: Efficacy and safety of erlotinib monotherapy were consistent with previous studies. Baseline pleural/pericardial effusion was associated with shorter PFS.

Ho KC, Fang YD, Chung HW, et al.
TLG-S criteria are superior to both EORTC and PERCIST for predicting outcomes in patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma treated with erlotinib.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016; 43(12):2155-2165 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: In this retrospective review of prospectively collected data, we sought to investigate whether early FDG-PET assessment of treatment response based on total lesion glycolysis measured using a systemic approach (TLG-S) would be superior to either local assessment with EORTC (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer) criteria or single-lesion assessment with PERCIST (PET Response Criteria in Solid Tumors) for predicting clinical outcomes in patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma treated with erlotinib. We also examined the effect of bone flares on tumor response evaluation by single-lesion assessment with PERCIST in patients with metastatic bone lesions.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data from 23 patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma treated with erlotinib. All participants underwent FDG-PET imaging at baseline and on days 14 and 56 after completion of erlotinib treatment. In addition, diagnostic CT scans were performed at baseline and on day 56. FDG-PET response was assessed with TLG-S, EORTC, and PERCIST criteria. Response assessment based on RECIST 1.1 (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) from diagnostic CT imaging was used as the reference standard. Two-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) served as the main outcome measures.
RESULTS: We identified 13 patients with bone metastases. Of these, four (31 %) with persistent bone uptake due to bone flares on day 14 were erroneously classified as non-responders according to the PERCIST criteria, but they were correctly classified as responders according to both the EORTC and TLG-S criteria. Patients who were classified as responders on day 14 based on TLG-S criteria had higher rates of 2-year PFS (26.7 % vs. 0 %, P = 0.007) and OS (40.0 % vs. 7.7 %, P = 0.018). Similar rates were observed in patients who showed a response on day 56 based on CT imaging according to the RECIST criteria. Patients classified as responders on day 14 according to the EORTC criteria on FDG-PET imaging had better rates of 2-year OS than did non-responders (36.4 % vs. 8.3 %, P = 0.015).
CONCLUSIONS: TLG-S criteria may be of greater help in predicting survival outcomes than other forms of assessment. Bone flares, which can interfere with the interpretation of treatment response based on PERCIST criteria, are not uncommon in patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma treated with erlotinib.

Mitma AA, Varghese JG, Witt D, Zarich SW
Stroke and a valvular lesion in a patient with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.
BMJ Case Rep. 2016; 2016 [PubMed] Related Publications
The mechanism and severity of stroke varies in the setting of malignancy. We report a case of a 68-year-old man with lung adenocarcinoma, who experienced acute neurological symptoms. Imaging studies showed multiple acute ischaemic infarcts in cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres. Further work up was consistent with non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE). We highlight, through a review of the literature, the importance of transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) in defining the above diagnosis. The treatment of NBTE consists of systemic anticoagulation and therapy of the underlying malignancy. Enoxaparin is preferred over warfarin to achieve this goal. He received systemic targeted therapy with erlotinib. A TOE performed 8 months later showed complete resolution of the vegetation.

Greenhalgh J, Dwan K, Boland A, et al.
First-line treatment of advanced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation positive non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; (5):CD010383 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation positive (M+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is emerging as an important subtype of lung cancer comprising 10% to 15% of non-squamous tumours. This subtype is more common in women than men and is less associated with smoking.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the clinical effectiveness of single -agent or combination EGFR therapies used in the first-line treatment of people with locally advanced or metastatic EGFR M+ NSCLC compared with other cytotoxic chemotherapy (CTX) agents used alone or in combination, or best supportive care (BSC). The primary outcome was overall survival. Secondary outcomes included progression-free survival, response rate, toxicity, and quality of life.
SEARCH METHODS: We conducted electronic searches of the the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2015, Issue 6), MEDLINE (1946 to 1 June 2015), EMBASE (1980 to 1 June 2015), and ISI Web of Science (1899 to 1 June 2015). We also searched the conference abstracts of the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the European Society for Medical Oncology (1 June 2015); Evidence Review Group submissions to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence; and the reference lists of retrieved articles.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Parallel randomised controlled trials comparing EGFR-targeted agents (alone or in combination with cytotoxic agents or BSC) with cytotoxic chemotherapy (single or doublet) or BSC in chemotherapy-naive patients with locally advanced or metastatic (stage IIIB or IV) EGFR M+ NSCLC unsuitable for treatment with curative intent.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently identified articles, extracted data, and carried out the 'Risk of bias' assessment. We conducted meta-analyses using a fixed-effect model unless there was substantial heterogeneity, in which case we also performed a random-effects analysis as a sensitivity analysis.
MAIN RESULTS: Nineteen trials met the inclusion criteria. Seven of these exclusively recruited people with EGFR M+ NSCLC; the remainder recruited a mixed population and reported results for people with EGFR M+ NSCLC as subgroup analyses. The number of participants with EGFR M+ tumours totalled 2317, of whom 1700 were of Asian origin.Overall survival (OS) data showed inconsistent results between the included trials that compared EGFR-targeted treatments against cytotoxic chemotherapy or placebo.Erlotinib was the intervention treatment used in eight trials, gefitinib in seven trials, afatinib in two trials, and cetuximab in two trials. The findings of one trial (FASTACT 2) did report a statistically significant OS gain for participants treated with erlotinib plus cytotoxic chemotherapy when compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy alone, but this result was based on a small number of participants (n = 97). For progression-free survival (PFS), a pooled analysis of 3 trials (n = 378) demonstrated a statistically significant benefit for erlotinib compared with cytotoxic chemotherapy (hazard ratio (HR) 0.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.24 to 0.38).In a pooled analysis with 491 participants administered gefitinib, 2 trials (IPASS and NEJSG) demonstrated a statistically significant PFS benefit of gefitinib compared with cytotoxic chemotherapy (HR 0.39; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.48).Afatinib (n = 709) showed a statistically significant PFS benefit when compared with chemotherapy in a pooled analysis of 2 trials (HR 0.42; 95% CI 0.34 to 0.53).Commonly reported grade 3/4 adverse events for afatinib, erlotinib, and gefitinib monotherapy were rash and diarrhoea. Myelosuppression was consistently worse in the chemotherapy arms, fatigue and anorexia were also associated with some chemotherapies.No statistically significant PFS or OS benefit for cetuximab plus cytotoxic chemotherapy (n = 81) compared to chemotherapy alone was reported in either of the two trials.Six trials reported on quality of life and symptom improvement using different methodologies. For each of erlotinib, gefitinib, and afatinib, 2 trials showed improvement in one or more indices for the tyrosine-kinase inhibitor (TKI) compared to chemotherapy.The quality of evidence was high for the comparisons of erlotinib and gefitinib with cytotoxic chemotherapy and for the comparison of afatinib with cytotoxic chemotherapy.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Erlotinib, gefitinib, and afatinib are all active agents in EGFR M+ NSCLC patients, and demonstrate an increased tumour response rate and prolonged progression-free survival compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy. We also found a beneficial effect of the TKI compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy. However, we found no increase in overall survival for the TKI when compared with standard chemotherapy. Cytotoxic chemotherapy is less effective in EGFR M+ NSCLC than erlotinib, gefitinib, or afatinib and is associated with greater toxicity. There were no data supporting the use of monoclonal antibody therapy.

Hsiue EH, Lee JH, Lin CC, Yang JC
Safety of gefitinib in non-small cell lung cancer treatment.
Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2016; 15(7):993-1000 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The development of EGFR TKI and the subsequent identification of activating EGFR mutations have dramatically changed how NSCLC is treated. With its recent approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, gefitinib adds to the list of recommended first-line treatments for lung cancer harboring EGFR mutations, which hitherto includes erlotinib and afatinib.
AREAS COVERED: This review summarizes the pharmacological property, clinical efficacy, and safety of gefitinib in major clinical trials and post-marketing studies.
EXPERT OPINION: Gefitinib is a well-tolerated treatment for advanced NSCLC. The most common adverse events are skin reaction and diarrhea, both of which are generally mild, noncumulative, and manageable. Other side effects such as interstitial lung disease and liver toxicity are less common but can be serious. Which EGFR TKI is the preferred first-line treatment is a matter of debate. Gefitinib and erlotinib have comparable efficacy, whereas afatinib may exert superior clinical activity over gefitinib. In terms of the most common toxicities of skin reaction and diarrhea, gefitinib may be the most tolerable of the three. Hence, despite being the earliest EGFR TKI developed, gefitinib continues to be one of the first-line treatments for advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC, especially when skin and gastrointestinal toxicity is a concern.

Sobhakumari A, Orcutt KP, Love-Homan L, et al.
2-Deoxy-d-glucose Suppresses the In Vivo Antitumor Efficacy of Erlotinib in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells.
Oncol Res. 2016; 24(1):55-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Poor tumor response to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) is a significant challenge for effective treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Therefore, strategies that may increase tumor response to EGFR TKIs are warranted in order to improve HNSCC patient treatment and overall survival. HNSCC tumors are highly glycolytic, and increased EGFR signaling has been found to promote glucose metabolism through various mechanisms. We have previously shown that inhibition of glycolysis with 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2DG) significantly enhanced the antitumor effects of cisplatin and radiation, which are commonly used to treat HNSCC. The goal of the current studies is to determine if 2DG will enhance the antitumor activity of the EGFR TKI erlotinib in HNSCC. Erlotinib transiently suppressed glucose consumption accompanied by alterations in pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) expression. 2DG enhanced the cytotoxic effect of erlotinib in vitro but reversed the antitumor effect of erlotinib in vivo. 2DG altered the N-glycosylation status of EGFR and induced the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers CHOP and BiP in vitro. Additionally, the effects of 2DG + erlotinib on cytotoxicity and ER stress in vitro were reversed by mannose but not glucose or antioxidant enzymes. Lastly, the protective effect of 2DG on erlotinib-induced cytotoxicity in vivo was reversed by chloroquine. Altogether, 2DG suppressed the antitumor efficacy of erlotinib in a HNSCC xenograft mouse model, which may be due to increased cytoprotective autophagy mediated by ER stress activation.

Ricciuti B, Chiari R, Chiarini P, et al.
Osimertinib (AZD9291) and CNS Response in Two Radiotherapy-Naïve Patients with EGFR-Mutant and T790M-Positive Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Clin Drug Investig. 2016; 36(8):683-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The discovery of sensitizing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations as a predictive marker of sensitivity to first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has dramatically changed the paradigm of care for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Unfortunately, the majority of patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC treated with EGFR-TKIs develop acquired resistance within 14-16 months. T790M mutation recently emerged as a major determinant of acquired resistance to gefitinib and erlotinib. Osimertinib (AZD9291) is a novel mono-anilino-pyrimidine third-generation EGFR TKI targeting both sensitizing and T790M EGFR-mutation which showed promising results in T790M-positive NSCLC. Here we report two cases of gefitinib- or erlotinib-pretreated NSCLCs with a T790M mutation-positive (as assessed on plasma through the therascreen EGFR test) disease and untreated, asymptomatic central nervous system metastases that responded to treatment with osimertinib.

Hammel P, Huguet F, van Laethem JL, et al.
Effect of Chemoradiotherapy vs Chemotherapy on Survival in Patients With Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Controlled After 4 Months of Gemcitabine With or Without Erlotinib: The LAP07 Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2016; 315(17):1844-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: In locally advanced pancreatic cancer, the role of chemoradiotherapy is controversial and the efficacy of erlotinib is unknown.
OBJECTIVES: To assess whether chemoradiotherapy improves overall survival of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer controlled after 4 months of gemcitabine-based induction chemotherapy and to assess the effect of erlotinib on survival.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In LAP07, an international, open-label, phase 3 randomized trial, 449 patients were enrolled between 2008 and 2011. Follow-up ended in February 2013.
INTERVENTIONS: In the first randomization, 223 patients received 1000 mg/m2 weekly of gemcitabine alone and 219 patients received 1000 mg/m2 of gemcitabine plus 100 mg/d of erlotinib. In the second randomization involving patients with progression-free disease after 4 months, 136 patients received 2 months of the same chemotherapy and 133 underwent chemoradiotherapy (54 Gy plus capecitabine).
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was overall survival from the date of the first randomization. Secondary outcomes were the effect of erlotinib and quality assurance of radiotherapy on overall survival, progression-free survival of gemcitabine-erlotinib and erlotinib maintenance with gemcitabine alone at the second randomization, and toxic effects.
RESULTS: A total of 442 of the 449 patients (232 men; median age, 63.3 years) enrolled underwent the first randomization. Of these, 269 underwent the second randomization. Interim analysis was performed when 221 patients died (109 in the chemoradiotherapy group and 112 in the chemotherapy group), reaching the early stopping boundaries for futility. With a median follow-up of 36.7 months, the median overall survival from the date of the first randomization was not significantly different between chemotherapy at 16.5 months (95% CI, 14.5-18.5 months) and chemoradiotherapy at 15.2 months (95% CI, 13.9-17.3 months; hazard ratio [HR], 1.03; 95% CI, 0.79-1.34; P = .83). Median overall survival from the date of the first randomization for the 223 patients receiving gemcitabine was 13.6 months (95% CI, 12.3-15.3 months) and was 11.9 months (95% CI, 10.4-13.5 months) for the 219 patients receiving gemcitabine plus erlotinib (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.97-1.45; P = .09; 188 deaths vs 191 deaths). Chemoradiotherapy was associated with decreased local progression (32% vs 46%, P = .03) and no increase in grade 3 to 4 toxicity, except for nausea.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this open-label, randomized trial involving patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer with disease controlled after 4 months of induction chemotherapy, there was no significant difference in overall survival with chemoradiotherapy compared with chemotherapy alone and there was no significant difference in overall survival with gemcitabine compared with gemcitabine plus erlotinib used as maintenance therapy.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00634725.

Fiala O, Pesek M, Finek J, et al.
Change in Serum Lactate Dehydrogenase Is Associated with Outcome of Patients with Advanced-stage NSCLC Treated with Erlotinib.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(5):2459-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) has been reported as a prognostic biomarker in malignant diseases. However, little is known on the dynamics of serum LDH levels during systemic treatment. We focused on the association of changes in serum LDH with outcome of patients with advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with erlotinib.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Clinical data of 309 patients were analyzed. Serum samples were collected within one week before initiation and after one month of treatment.
RESULTS: The change in serum LDH during the first month of erlotinib treatment was independently associated with disease control rate (p=0.006), progression-free survival (PFS) (p=0.010) and overall survival (OS) (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: LDH is a commonly used serum biomarker, that is cheap and easy to detect. The results of our study suggest that the change in LDH serum level during the first month is a surrogate marker on the efficacy of erlotinib in patients with advanced NSCLC.

Stein J, Mann J
Specialty pharmacy services for patients receiving oral medications for solid tumors.
Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2016; 73(11):775-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Currently available oral oncology therapies are reviewed, and specialty pharmacy services for patients receiving these drugs are described.
SUMMARY: Market introductions of new oral oncology drugs have increased substantially over the past decade, and 25-30% of all oncology agents in development are oral medications. Oral agents for treatment of breast cancer include capecitabine, lafatinib, and palbociclib. Several oral agents are used in treating patients with lung cancer driven by mutations of genes coding for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); currently available agents include the ALK inhibitors certinib and crizotinib and the EGFR inhibitors afatinib, erlotinib, and gefitinib. Four oral targeted therapies are used in the treatment of melanoma associated with the B-Raf proto-oncogene, BRAF: cobimetinib, dabrafenib, trametinib, and vemurafenib. Oral agents for treatment of prostate cancer include abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide. Oral agents for treatment of renal cell carcinoma include axitinib, everolimus, pazopanib, sorafenib, and sunitinib. Specialty pharmacy services for patients receiving oral oncology agents can include (1) providing patient counseling and education on adverse effects and self-management strategies, (2) processing prior-authorization requests and helping patients navigate copayment assistance programs, and (3) monitoring for medication toxicities and recommending dose adjustments as appropriate.
CONCLUSION: Many oral oncology medications have been introduced over the past 10-15 years, with many others in clinical development. Due to the complexity of initiating and monitoring patients receiving these oral therapies, specialty pharmacy services are an essential component of many patients' cancer care.

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