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J Thorac Oncol. 2008 Sep;3(9):1003-11. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e31818396a4.

Phase I trial of erlotinib-based multimodality therapy for inoperable stage III non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Section of Hematology-Oncology and Phase II Network, University of Chicago Medical Center, MC 2115, 5841, S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA.



This Phase I trial aimed to determine the maximum-tolerated-dose of erlotinib administered with two standard chemoradiotherapy regimens for non-small cell lung cancer.


Unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer patients were enrolled in this 2-arm dose-escalation study. Erlotinib, given only during chemoradiotherapy, was escalated from 50 to 150 mg/d in 3 to 6 patient cohorts. Arm A: erlotinib with cisplatin (50 mg/m IV days 1, 8, 29, 36), etoposide (50 mg/m IV days 1-5, 29-33) and chest radiotherapy (66 Gy, 2 Gy/d) followed by docetaxel (75 mg/m IV Q21 d) for 3 cycles. Arm B: induction carboplatin (AUC 6) and paclitaxel (200 mg/m) for two 21-d cycles then radiotherapy with erlotinib, carboplatin (AUC = 2/wk) and paclitaxel (50 mg/m/wk).


Seventeen patients were treated in each arm.


performance status 0 to 24 patients, 1 to 10 patients, median age 63 years, adenocarcinoma 21% and female 14 patients. Dose-escalation of erlotinib to 150 mg/d was possible on both chemoradiotherapy regimens. Grade 3/4 leukopenia and neutropenia were predominant toxicities in both arms. Grade 3 chemoradiotherapy toxicities in arm A were esophagitis (3 patients), vomiting (1), ototoxicity (1), diarrhea (2), dehydration (3), pneumonitis (1); and arm B was esophagitis (6). Seven patients (21%) developed rash (all grade 1/2). Median survival times for patients on Arm A and B were 10.2 and 13.7 months, respectively. Three-year overall survival in patients with and without rash were 53% and 10%, respectively (log-rank P = 0.0807). Epidermal growth factor receptor IHC or FISH positive patients showed no significant overall survival difference.


Addition of standard-dose erlotinib to chemoradiotherapy is feasible without evident increase in toxicities. However, the survival data are disappointing in this unselected patient population and does not support further investigation of this approach.

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