First-Line Erlotinib Triples Progression-Free Survival in NSCLC in Chinese Population

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First-line erlotinib (Tarceva) tripled the progression-free survival in advanced non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients who had endothelial growth factor receptor (EGFR)-activating mutation, according to the OPTIMAL study presented at the 35th European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.

The study was carried out in a Chinese population who had not previous received chemotherapy and had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 2.

Patients were randomly assigned to receive either erlotinib at 150 mg/day (n = 82) or combination chemotherapy of gemcitabine and carboplatin (n = 72) until unacceptable toxicity or progressive disease.

Patients who received erlotinib had a significantly longer progression-free survival than patients who received gemcitabine–carboplatin combination (13.1 vs 4.6 months, respectively).  The improvement represented an 84% risk reduction in disease progression. 

The incidence of adverse events and serious adverse events were also lower in the erlotinib group versus the gemcitabine–carboplatin combination group.

The excellent results of the OPTIMAL study should put erlotinib as the first-line agent for advanced non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients who had endothelial growth factor receptor (EGFR)-activating mutation.

Source: 35th European Society for Medical Oncology Congress: Abstract LBA14. Presented October 9, 2010.

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