Medical Oncology

, 30:450 | Cite as

Clinical outcomes in elderly patients administered gefitinib as first-line treatment in epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated non-small-cell lung cancer: retrospective analysis in a Nagano Lung Cancer Research Group Study

  • Kazunari Tateishi
  • Takashi Ichiyama
  • Kazuya Hirai
  • Toshihiko Agatsuma
  • Shigeru Koyama
  • Tsutomu Hachiya
  • Nobutoshi Morozumi
  • Takayuki Shiina
  • Tomonobu KoizumiEmail author
Original Paper


The clinical efficacy and outcomes of gefitinib therapy as a first-line treatment for elderly patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations were analyzed retrospectively. We analyzed chemotherapy-naïve NSCLC patients aged 75 years or older who had EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletion mutation or L858R), who were initially treated with gefitinib (250 mg) once daily in Nagano Prefecture. A total of 55 patients (16 men, 39 women) with a median age of 81.1 years (range; 75–94 years) treated between April 2007 and July 2012 were analyzed. The overall response rate and disease control rate were 72.7 % (95 % confidence interval (CI); 59.5–82.9 %) and 92.7 % (95 % CI; 82.0–97.6 %), respectively. Median progression-free survival and overall survival from the start of gefitinib treatment were 13.8 months (95 % CI; 9.9–18.8 months) and 29.1 months (95 % CI; 22.4 months–not reached), respectively. Two-year survival rate was 59.5 % (95 % CI; 41.0–78.0 %). Major grade 3 toxicities were skin rash (1.8 %) and increased levels of aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase (7.3 %). First-line treatment with gefitinib for elderly EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients was effective and well tolerated. The results suggest that first-line gefitinib should be considered as a preferable standard treatment in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC harboring EGFR mutations.


Non-small-cell lung cancer Elderly patients First-line EGFR mutations Gefitinib 



We thank the patients and their families for their support and participation in this study. We also thank Akihiro Tsukadaira in Iida Municipal Hospital, Muneharu Hayasaka in Chushin Matsumoto Hospital, Akio Morokawa in Showa Inan Hospital, and all of the members of Nagano Lung Cancer Research Group for their helpful support.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazunari Tateishi
    • 1
  • Takashi Ichiyama
    • 1
  • Kazuya Hirai
    • 2
  • Toshihiko Agatsuma
    • 3
  • Shigeru Koyama
    • 4
  • Tsutomu Hachiya
    • 5
  • Nobutoshi Morozumi
    • 6
  • Takayuki Shiina
    • 7
  • Tomonobu Koizumi
    • 8
    Email author
  1. 1.First Department of Internal MedicineShinshu UniversityMatsumoto CityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pulmonary DiseasesNagano Municipal HospitalNagano CityJapan
  3. 3.Department of Respiratory MedicineNational Hospital Organization Shinshu Ueda Medical CenterUeda CityJapan
  4. 4.Department of Pulmonary DiseasesNagano Red Cross HospitalNagano CityJapan
  5. 5.Department of Pulmonary DiseasesSuwa Red Cross HospitalSuwa CityJapan
  6. 6.Department of Pulmonary DiseaseSaku Central HospitalSaku CityJapan
  7. 7.Department of Second SurgeryShinshu UniversityMatsumoto CityJapan
  8. 8.Division of Clinical Oncology, Comprehensive Cancer CenterShinshu University HospitalMatsumotoJapan

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