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      Influence of afatinib dose on outcomes of advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients with brain metastases

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          Abstract

          Background

          Afatinib is an oral irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine-kinase inhibitor (TKI) indicated in first-line treatment of advanced EGFR-mutant (EGFRm+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Dose dependent side effects can limit drug exposure, which may impact on extracranial and central nervous system (CNS) disease control.

          Methods

          We performed a retrospective study of 125 patients diagnosed with advanced EGFRm+ NSCLC treated with first-line afatinib at a tertiary Asian cancer center, exploring clinicopathological factors that may influence survival outcomes. Median progression free survival (PFS) was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Comparison of PFS between subgroups of patients was done using log-rank tests and Cox proportional hazards models.

          Results

          Out of 125 patients, 62 (49.6%) started on 40 mg once daily (OD) afatinib, 61 (48.8%) on 30 mg OD and 1 (0.8%) on 20 mg OD. After median follow-up of 13.8 months from afatinib initiation, the observed response rate was 70.4% and median PFS 11.9 months (95% CI 10.3–19.3). 42 (33.6%) patients had baseline brain metastases (BM) and PFS of those who started on 40 mg OD ( n = 17) vs. 30 mg OD ( n = 25) was 13.3 months vs. 5.3 months (HR 0.39, 95% CI 0.15–0.99). BM+ patients who started on 40 mg had similar PFS to patients with no BM (13.3 months vs. 15.0 months; HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.34–1.80).

          Conclusion

          In patients with advanced EGFRm+ NSCLC with BM+, initiating patients on afatinib 40 mg OD was associated with improved PFS compared to 30 mg OD, underscoring the potential importance of dose intensity in control of CNS disease.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor underlying responsiveness of non-small-cell lung cancer to gefitinib.

          Most patients with non-small-cell lung cancer have no response to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib, which targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). However, about 10 percent of patients have a rapid and often dramatic clinical response. The molecular mechanisms underlying sensitivity to gefitinib are unknown. We searched for mutations in the EGFR gene in primary tumors from patients with non-small-cell lung cancer who had a response to gefitinib, those who did not have a response, and those who had not been exposed to gefitinib. The functional consequences of identified mutations were evaluated after the mutant proteins were expressed in cultured cells. Somatic mutations were identified in the tyrosine kinase domain of the EGFR gene in eight of nine patients with gefitinib-responsive lung cancer, as compared with none of the seven patients with no response (P<0.001). Mutations were either small, in-frame deletions or amino acid substitutions clustered around the ATP-binding pocket of the tyrosine kinase domain. Similar mutations were detected in tumors from 2 of 25 patients with primary non-small-cell lung cancer who had not been exposed to gefitinib (8 percent). All mutations were heterozygous, and identical mutations were observed in multiple patients, suggesting an additive specific gain of function. In vitro, EGFR mutants demonstrated enhanced tyrosine kinase activity in response to epidermal growth factor and increased sensitivity to inhibition by gefitinib. A subgroup of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer have specific mutations in the EGFR gene, which correlate with clinical responsiveness to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib. These mutations lead to increased growth factor signaling and confer susceptibility to the inhibitor. Screening for such mutations in lung cancers may identify patients who will have a response to gefitinib. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            EGF receptor gene mutations are common in lung cancers from "never smokers" and are associated with sensitivity of tumors to gefitinib and erlotinib.

            Somatic mutations in the tyrosine kinase (TK) domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene are reportedly associated with sensitivity of lung cancers to gefitinib (Iressa), kinase inhibitor. In-frame deletions occur in exon 19, whereas point mutations occur frequently in codon 858 (exon 21). We found from sequencing the EGFR TK domain that 7 of 10 gefitinib-sensitive tumors had similar types of alterations; no mutations were found in eight gefitinib-refractory tumors (P = 0.004). Five of seven tumors sensitive to erlotinib (Tarceva), a related kinase inhibitor for which the clinically relevant target is undocumented, had analogous somatic mutations, as opposed to none of 10 erlotinib-refractory tumors (P = 0.003). Because most mutation-positive tumors were adenocarcinomas from patients who smoked <100 cigarettes in a lifetime ("never smokers"), we screened EGFR exons 2-28 in 15 adenocarcinomas resected from untreated never smokers. Seven tumors had TK domain mutations, in contrast to 4 of 81 non-small cell lung cancers resected from untreated former or current smokers (P = 0.0001). Immunoblotting of lysates from cells transiently transfected with various EGFR constructs demonstrated that, compared to wild-type protein, an exon 19 deletion mutant induced diminished levels of phosphotyrosine, whereas the phosphorylation at tyrosine 1092 of an exon 21 point mutant was inhibited at 10-fold lower concentrations of drug. Collectively, these data show that adenocarcinomas from never smokers comprise a distinct subset of lung cancers, frequently containing mutations within the TK domain of EGFR that are associated with gefitinib and erlotinib sensitivity.
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              Phase III study of afatinib or cisplatin plus pemetrexed in patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinoma with EGFR mutations.

              The LUX-Lung 3 study investigated the efficacy of chemotherapy compared with afatinib, a selective, orally bioavailable ErbB family blocker that irreversibly blocks signaling from epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/ErbB2), and ErbB4 and has wide-spectrum preclinical activity against EGFR mutations. A phase II study of afatinib in EGFR mutation-positive lung adenocarcinoma demonstrated high response rates and progression-free survival (PFS). In this phase III study, eligible patients with stage IIIB/IV lung adenocarcinoma were screened for EGFR mutations. Mutation-positive patients were stratified by mutation type (exon 19 deletion, L858R, or other) and race (Asian or non-Asian) before two-to-one random assignment to 40 mg afatinib per day or up to six cycles of cisplatin plus pemetrexed chemotherapy at standard doses every 21 days. The primary end point was PFS by independent review. Secondary end points included tumor response, overall survival, adverse events, and patient-reported outcomes (PROs). A total of 1,269 patients were screened, and 345 were randomly assigned to treatment. Median PFS was 11.1 months for afatinib and 6.9 months for chemotherapy (hazard ratio [HR], 0.58; 95% CI, 0.43 to 0.78; P = .001). Median PFS among those with exon 19 deletions and L858R EGFR mutations (n = 308) was 13.6 months for afatinib and 6.9 months for chemotherapy (HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.65; P = .001). The most common treatment-related adverse events were diarrhea, rash/acne, and stomatitis for afatinib and nausea, fatigue, and decreased appetite for chemotherapy. PROs favored afatinib, with better control of cough, dyspnea, and pain. Afatinib is associated with prolongation of PFS when compared with standard doublet chemotherapy in patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and EGFR mutations.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                tan.wan.ling@singhealth.com.sg
                ng.quan.sing@singhealth.com.sg
                cindy.lim@singhealth.com.sg
                tan.eng.huat@singhealth.com.sg
                toh.chee.keong@singhealth.com.sg
                ang.mei.kim@singhealth.com.sg
                ravindran.kanesvaran@singhealth.com.sg
                amit.jain@singhealth.com.sg
                daniel.tan.s.w@singhealth.com.sg
                darren.lim.w.t@singhealth.com.sg
                Journal
                BMC Cancer
                BMC Cancer
                BMC Cancer
                BioMed Central (London )
                1471-2407
                3 December 2018
                3 December 2018
                2018
                : 18
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0620 9745, GRID grid.410724.4, Division of Medical Oncology, , National Cancer Centre Singapore, ; Singapore, Singapore
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0620 9745, GRID grid.410724.4, Clinical Trials & Epidemiological Sciences, , National Cancer Centre Singapore, ; Singapore, Singapore
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0620 715X, GRID grid.418377.e, Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR, ; Singapore, Singapore
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0620 9243, GRID grid.418812.6, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, ; Singapore, Singapore
                Article
                5110
                10.1186/s12885-018-5110-2
                6276185
                30509246
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: National Medical Research Council (Singapore) (NMRC)
                Award ID: NMRC/TCR/007-NCC/2013
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001349, National Medical Research Council;
                Award ID: CSA/0025/2017
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                dose, egfr mutation nsclc, metastatic, afatinib, brain metastases

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