Article Abstract

Difference in central nerve system metastasis during gefitinib or erlotinib therapy in patients with EGFR-mutated non-small cell lung cancer: a retrospective study

Authors: Kazushi Yoshida, Shintaro Kanda, Hideaki Shiraishi, Keiko Goto, Kota Itahashi, Yasushi Goto, Hidehito Horinouchi, Yutaka Fujiwara, Hiroshi Nokihara, Noboru Yamamoto, Yuichiro Ohe

Abstract

Background: Central nervous system (CNS) metastasis is a poor prognostic factor in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation EGFR-mutant NSCLC and is associated with a deteriorated quality of life (QOL). Some clinical studies have suggested a possible difference in the incidence of CNS metastasis between EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients treated with gefitinib and erlotinib, both of which are classified as first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, the difference in the incidence of CNS metastasis between patients receiving these two drugs has not yet been sufficiently well investigated. We analyzed the frequency of occurrence/progression of CNS metastasis in EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients treated with erlotinib and gefitinib as the first-line treatment.
Methods: We analyzed the incidence of CNS metastasis, frequency of progression of CNS metastasis and the treatment outcomes in EGFR-mutant patients who received gefitinib or erlotinib as the first-line EGFR-TKI treatment. CNS progressive disease (PD) was defined as progression of CNS metastasis during EGFR-TKI treatment. We also evaluated the progression-free survival (PFS), CNS-PFS, and overall survival (OS) of the patients who received each of the two drugs.
Results: A total of 170 patients were enrolled in the study, of which 144 had received gefitinib, and 26 had received erlotinib. The frequency of CNS PD in the erlotinib group tended to be lower than that in the gefitinib group (11.5% vs. 29.9%, P=0.06). In patients with no existing CNS metastasis at the start of the EGFR-TKI treatments, the incidence of CNS PD was significantly lower in the erlotinib group than that in the gefitinib group (4.8% vs. 24.5%, P=0.04). A re-biopsy after failure of EGFR-TKI treatment was performed in 48 patients. The incidence of EGFR T790M tended to be higher among patients with CNS PD than in those without CNS PD, although the difference was not statistically significant (66.7% vs. 40.4%; P=0.23).
Conclusions: The incidence of progression of CNS metastasis during erlotinib treatment was lower than that during gefitinib treatment. In addition, the difference in the incidence in patients without existing CNS metastasis at the time of start of EGFR-TKI treatment was significantly lower in the patients treated with erlotinib than in those treated with gefitinib.