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Oncol Lett. 2015 Jan;9(1):257-261. Epub 2014 Nov 4.

Clinical significance of gefitinib antitumor activity in patients with lung adenocarcinoma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310022, P.R. China.
Department of Medical Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310022, P.R. China.
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310022, P.R. China.


Non-small cell lung cancer is a subtype of adenocarcinoma, which has previously shown positive responses to gefitinib. The aim of the current study was to determine a clinical profile of gefitinib-induced disease controls for patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Retrospective evaluation of the clinical characteristics of 52 lung adenocarcinoma patients, enrolled at the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital (Hangzhou, China) between October 2004 and August 2008, was undertaken. All patients received gefitinib (250 mg/day orally) until disease progression or until an unacceptable toxicity was observed. Of the 52 patients, complete response (CR) and partial response (PR) rates were 23.1% (12/52) and 57.7% (30/52), respectively. An additional 19.2% (10/52) of patients demonstrated stable disease (SD) after three months of treatment with gefitinib. Disease control was observed in the primary lesion, and tumor metastasis to the lungs, brain, adrenal glands, pleura, peritoneum, pericardium, bone and lymph nodes was identified. The one-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 74.8 and 78.0%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that female patients were associated with significantly longer survival times when compared with males (hazard ratio, 0.077; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.007-0.083; P=0.035). One-year PFS and OS rates in CR, PR and SD patients were 77.8, 73.9 and 33.3%, and 89.2, 79.8 and 33.7%, respectively, although neither difference was identified to be statistically significant. In addition, the median OS of SD patients was 12 months (95% CI, 7.2-16.8 months). Brain metastasis was the major site of disease progression (23.1%). Gefitinib treatment for patients with lung adenocarcinoma showed a marked long-term survival benefit, even in SD patients. However, further studies are required to analyze the efficacy of gefitinib in penetrating the blood-brain barrier in order to prolong PFS in patients with lung adenocarcinoma.


gefitinib; non-small cell lung cancer; targeted therapy

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