Management of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer: role of gefitinib
Vamsidhar Velcheti1, Daniel Morgensztern2,3,4, Ramaswamy Govindan3,4
1Department of Internal Medicine, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, LA, USA; 2Division of Hematology-Oncology, St. Louis Veterans Hospital, St. Louis, MO, USA; 3Division of Medical Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA; 4Alvin J Siteman Cancer Center, St. Louis, MO, USA
Abstract: Gefitinib is the first epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine-kinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Its failure to improve survival in a placebo-control study, however, led to its withdrawal in the United States though it is available in many other countries Subsequent studies nevertheless showed comparable efficacy for gefitinib and docetaxel in the second-line therapy. Gefitinib significantly improved progression-free survival compared to chemotherapy in patients with activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase mutations. This review will discuss the results of these large randomized studies and discuss the role of gefitinib in the treatment of advanced NSCLC.
Keywords: gefitinib, non-small cell lung cancer
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