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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Sep 10;26(26):4253-60. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.15.0672.

Gefitinib versus vinorelbine in chemotherapy-naive elderly patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (INVITE): a randomized, phase II study.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Perugia Hospital, S Andrea delle Fratte, 06156 Perugia, Italy.



This phase II, open-label, parallel-group study compared gefitinib with vinorelbine in chemotherapy-naïve elderly patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Chemotherapy-naïve patients (age >or= 70 years) were randomly assigned to gefitinib (250 mg/d orally) or vinorelbine (30 mg/m(2) infusion on days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle). The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary end points were overall survival (OS), objective response rate (ORR), quality of life (QOL), pulmonary symptom improvement (PSI), and tolerability. Exploratory end points included epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene copy number by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).


Patients were randomly assigned to gefitinib (n = 97) or to vinorelbine (n = 99). Hazard ratios (HR; gefitinib v vinorelbine) were 1.19 (95% CI, 0.85 to 1.65) for PFS and 0.98 (95% CI, 0.66 to 1.47) for OS. ORR and disease control rates were 3.1% (95% CI, 0.6 to 8.8) and 43.3% (for gefitinib) and 5.1% (95% CI, 1.7 to 11.4) and 53.5% (for vinorelbine), respectively. Overall QOL improvement and PSI rates were 24.3% and 36.6% (for gefitinib) and 10.9% and 31.0% (for vinorelbine), respectively. In the 54 patients who were EGFR FISH-positive, HRs were 3.13 (95% CI, 1.45 to 6.76) for PFS and 2.88 (95% CI, 1.21 to 6.83) for OS. There were fewer treatment-related grade 3 to 5 adverse events with gefitinib (12.8%) than with vinorelbine (41.7%).


There was no statistical difference between gefitinib and vinorelbine in efficacy in chemotherapy-naïve, unselected elderly patients with advanced NSCLC, but there was better tolerability with gefitinib. Individuals who were EGFR FISH-positive benefited more from vinorelbine than from gefitinib; this unexpected finding requires further study.


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