, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 79-88
Date: 29 Nov 2012

Optimal Management of Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutations

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Abstract

In recent years, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), gefitinib and erlotinib, which have promising activity and a favourable toxicity profile, have been used in the management of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The knowledge that EGFR- activating mutations confer sensitivity to EGFR TKIs has led to the design and analysis of phase II and III studies of gefitinib or erlotinib treatment in various clinical scenarios. We review the important NSCLC clinical trials of the efficacy of EGFR TKIs in the context of EGFR-activating mutations. Inall phase II single-arm studies or phase III randomized comparative studies, EGFR TKIs as monotherapy were superior to combination chemotherapy in terms of response rate and progression-free survival in patients with activating EGFR mutations. EGFR TKIs have contributed to the superior overall survival time in NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations compared with those patients without EGFR mutations. The results of these studies have led to a paradigm shift in the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC. NSCLC with EGFR mutations constitutes a new entity requiring different personalized treatment strategies.