It is unknown whether tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can be discontinued in patients in whom EGFR-mutated lung cancer has well stabilised. We present a case of a 73-year-old Japanese woman with no history of smoking. Right pulmonary lower lobectomy, lymph node dissection and segmental resection of the right middle lobe were performed. Additionally, she underwent adjuvant chemotherapy for stage IIIB adenocarcinoma harbouring an EGFR exon 19 deletion. Afatinib was administered for liver metastases after 15 months. A complete response of metastatic disease was achieved for 2 years. However, afatinib was unavoidably discontinued due to splenectomy for the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Although afatinib was not resumed, due to the abscess formation as surgery complication, a drug-free complete response was sustained for over 18 months. The present case suggests that exceptional and durable responses to afatinib can be achieved in individual cases.