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Lung Cancer. 2011 Nov;74(2):274-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.02.017. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

Second-line erlotinib in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: subgroup analyses from the TRUST study.

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Hospital Grosshansdorf, Grosshansdorf, Germany.


Erlotinib is a highly potent inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine-kinase activity that significantly prolongs overall survival in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and improves symptom control and quality of life compared with placebo. The safety and efficacy of erlotinib has been investigated in a large, international, phase IV, open-label study (TRUST) in patients (n=6665) with advanced stage IIIB/IV NSCLC. An analysis of efficacy and safety outcomes is reported for patients receiving erlotinib as second-line therapy in TRUST (n=3224). Best response data were available for all 3224 patients. Complete response, partial response and stable disease were achieved in 25 (<1%), 368 (14%) and 1444 (54%) patients, respectively, for a disease control rate of 68%. Median progression-free and overall survivals were 13.6 weeks and 8.6 months, respectively; 1-year survival was 39.4%. Safety data were available for all patients. Of these, 389 patients (12%) had an erlotinib-related adverse event (AE) other than pre-specified AEs defined in the protocol; only 96 patients (3%) had an erlotinib-related AE ≥ grade 3. Of 1376 patients (43%) with serious AEs (SAEs), only 122 (4%) had treatment-related SAEs and most were gastrointestinal disorders (mainly diarrhoea and nausea). No treatment-related SAE occurred in ≥ 1% of patients. Data on the incidence of erlotinib-related rash were collected for all patients, 2302 (71%) of whom experienced rash. Of these rash events, 83% were of grade 1/2. These data confirm the good efficacy and tolerability of second-line erlotinib in a broad range of patients with NSCLC.


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