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      Clinical evaluation of dacomitinib for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): current perspectives

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          Abstract

          Systemic treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has undergone remarkable changes in the last decade, with the introduction of targeted therapies and immunotherapy. The identification of activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene (deletions in exon 19 [Del19] and point mutation L858R in exon 21) has been the first important step toward molecularly guided precision therapy in lung cancer. Several randomized trials comparing EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) (gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib) to standard chemotherapy in first-line treatment of advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC showed significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) and in response rate, with lower rates of adverse events (AEs) and better symptom control. However, none of these trials showed significant improvement in overall survival (OS). Despite impressive responses with EGFR-TKI, disease invariably progresses after 9 to 13 months, due to acquired resistance. Dacomitinib is a potent, irreversible, highly selective, second-generation EGFR-TKI, which inhibits the signaling from both heterodimers and homodimers of all the members of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family. Here, we review the clinical development of dacomitinib from phase I to phase III, with particular attention to its toxicity and on its activity on T790M mutation. Then, we critically examine the results of ARCHER 1050, a study that was crucial for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. ARCHER 1050 was the first randomized phase III study comparing dacomitinib with gefitinib, in first-line treatment of patients with advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC. Dacomitinib was superior to gefitinib in terms of primary end-point (14.7 vs 9.2 months) and OS (34.1 vs 26.8 months). The incidence of diarrhea, skin rash, mucositis and, consequently, dose reductions was higher with dacomitinib, while hepatic toxicity was higher with gefitinib. Dacomitinib constitutes one of the standard first-line options in patients with advanced EGFR-mutated NSCLC.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Mechanisms of resistance to EGFR-targeted drugs: lung cancer

          Despite the improvement in clinical outcomes derived by the introduction of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) in the treatment of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumours harbour EGFR-activating mutations, prognosis remains unfavourable because of the occurrence of either intrinsic or acquired resistance. We reviewed the published literature and abstracts of oral and poster presentations from international conferences addressing EGFR-TKIs resistance mechanisms discovered in preclinical models and in patients with NSCLC. The molecular heterogeneity of lung cancer has several implications in terms of possible mechanisms of either intrinsic or acquired resistance to EGFR-targeted inhibitors. Several mechanisms of resistance have been described to EGFR-TKIs, such as the occurrence of secondary mutation (T790M, C797S), the activation of alternative signalling (Met, HGF, AXL, Hh, IGF-1R), the aberrance of the downstream pathways (AKT mutations, loss of PTEN), the impairment of the EGFR-TKIs-mediated apoptosis pathway (BCL2-like 11/BIM deletion polymorphism) and histological transformation. Although some of the mechanisms of resistance have been identified, much additional information is needed to understand and overcome resistance to EGFR-TKI agents. The majority of resistance mechanisms described are the result of a selection of pre-existing clones; thus, studies on the mechanisms by which subclonal alterations have an impact on tumour biology and influence cancer progression are extremely important in order to define the best treatment strategy.
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            Randomized phase II study of dacomitinib (PF-00299804), an irreversible pan-human epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, versus erlotinib in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.

            This randomized, open-label trial compared dacomitinib (PF-00299804), an irreversible inhibitor of human epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR)/HER1, HER2, and HER4, with erlotinib, a reversible EGFR inhibitor, in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients with NSCLC, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0 to 2, no prior HER-directed therapy, and one/two prior chemotherapy regimens received dacomitinib 45 mg or erlotinib 150 mg once daily. One hundred eighty-eight patients were randomly assigned. Treatment arms were balanced for most clinical and molecular characteristics. Median progression-free survival (PFS; primary end point) was 2.86 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 1.91 months for patients treated with erlotinib (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.66; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.91; two-sided P = .012); in patients with KRAS wild-type tumors, median PFS was 3.71 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 1.91 months for patients treated with erlotinib (HR = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.85; two-sided P = .006); and in patients with KRAS wild-type/EGFR wild-type tumors, median PFS was 2.21 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 1.84 months for patients treated with erlotinib (HR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.99; two-sided P = .043). Median overall survival was 9.53 months for patients treated with dacomitinib and 7.44 months for patients treated with erlotinib (HR = 0.80; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.13; two-sided P = .205). Adverse event-related discontinuations were uncommon in both arms. Common treatment-related adverse events were dermatologic and gastrointestinal, predominantly grade 1 to 2, and more frequent with dacomitinib. Dacomitinib demonstrated significantly improved PFS versus erlotinib, with acceptable toxicity. PFS benefit was observed in most clinical and molecular subsets, notably KRAS wild-type/EGFR any status, KRAS wild-type/EGFR wild-type, and EGFR mutants.
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              Mechanism for activation of mutated epidermal growth factor receptors in lung cancer.

              The initiation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase activity proceeds via an asymmetric dimerization mechanism in which a "donor" tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) contacts an "acceptor" TKD, leading to its activation. In the context of a ligand-induced dimer, identical wild-type EGFR TKDs are thought to assume the donor or acceptor roles in a random manner. Here, we present biochemical reconstitution data demonstrating that activated EGFR mutants found in lung cancer preferentially assume the acceptor role when coexpressed with WT EGFR. Mutated EGFRs show enhanced association with WT EGFR, leading to hyperphosphorylation of the WT counterpart. Mutated EGFRs also hyperphosphorylate the related erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene (ErbB) family member, ErbB-2, in a similar manner. This directional "superacceptor activity" is particularly pronounced in the drug-resistant L834R/T766M mutant. A 4-Å crystal structure of this mutant in the active conformation reveals an asymmetric dimer interface that is essentially the same as that in WT EGFR. Asymmetric dimer formation induces an allosteric conformational change in the acceptor subunit. Thus, superacceptor activity likely arises simply from a lower energetic cost associated with this conformational change in the mutant EGFR compared with WT, rather than from any structural alteration that impairs the donor role of the mutant. Collectively, these findings define a previously unrecognized mode of mutant-specific intermolecular regulation for ErbB receptors, knowledge of which could potentially be exploited for therapeutic benefit.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                DDDT
                dddt
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove
                1177-8881
                06 September 2019
                2019
                : 13
                : 3187-3198
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Oncology, Careggi Hospital and University of Florence , Florence, Italy
                [2 ]Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University , Washington, DC, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Giuseppe Giaccone Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University , Washington, DC, USATel +1 202 687 7072Email gg496@georgetown.edu
                Article
                194231
                10.2147/DDDT.S194231
                6735534
                © 2019 Lavacchi et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Tables: 4, References: 43, Pages: 12
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