Role of Erlotinib in the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
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- Piperdi, B. & Perez-Soler, R. Drugs (2012) 72(Suppl 1): 11. doi:10.2165/1163018-S0-000000000-00000
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Erlotinib is an orally administered small molecule inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase. Erlotinib at the standard oral daily dose of 150 mg is approved for the treatment of unselected chemorefractory advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients as well as maintenance therapy after first-line chemotherapy. The European Medicines Agency has recently also approved erlotinib as the first-line therapy in patients with EGFR mutations. Although recent studies have identified higher response rates and improved survival with erlotinib in a subset of patients with EGFR mutations, the survival benefit from single agent erlotinib in chemorefractory patients and in the maintenance setting is well observed in EGFR wild-type patients. The role of single agent erlotinib in the first-line setting in special subsets of EGFR wild-type patients (elderly, poor performance status, non-smokers) needs to be further determined. The combination of erlotinib with other targeted therapies has shown promising results and warrants further studies in EGFR wild-type patients.