Send to

Choose Destination
Lung Cancer. 2015 Apr;88(1):74-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2015.01.026. Epub 2015 Feb 7.

Pooled safety analysis of EGFR-TKI treatment for EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer.

Author information

Department of Medical Oncology, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, 377-2 Ohno-higashi, Osaka-Sayama 589-8511, Osaka, Japan.
Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Kyushu University Hospital, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan. Electronic address:



Three epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) - afatinib, erlotinib, and gefitinib - are available for the treatment of patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Given the long-term exposure of such patients to EGFR-TKIs, the toxicological properties of these agents in these individuals may differ from those observed in unselected patients. We compared the frequencies of severe adverse events (AEs) among EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC patients treated with these three EGFR-TKIs.


We performed a pooled analysis of severe AEs according to the type of EGFR-TKI administered with the use of data extracted from prospective clinical trials that evaluated the clinical efficacy of gefitinib, erlotinib, or afatinib in NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations.


Twenty-one trials published between 2006 and 2014 and including 1468 patients were eligible for analysis. Patients in 13 trials (n=457) received gefitinib, those in 5 trials (n=513) received erlotinib, and those in 3 trials (n=498) received afatinib. Rash and diarrhea of grade ≥3 were significantly more frequent with afatinib therapy than with erlotinib or gefitinib therapy. The frequency of interstitial lung disease (ILD) of grade ≥3 was low (0.6-2.2%) with all three EGFR-TKIs and did not differ significantly among them. Gefitinib was associated with a significantly higher frequency of hepatotoxicity of grade ≥3 compared with erlotinib or afatinib. The overall frequency of AEs leading to treatment withdrawal was 6.1% (83 of 1354 evaluable patients), with such AEs occurring significantly more often with afatinib or gefitinib than with erlotinib. The most common withdrawal AEs were skin toxicity, ILD, and hepatotoxicity.


Such information on AEs should facilitate selection of the most appropriate EGFR-TKI for EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC patients with regard to mitigation of the risk for certain types of toxicity.


Adverse event; Epidermal growth factor receptor; Non-small cell lung cancer; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; ethnic difference; pooled analysis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center