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Multiple treatment modalities for brain metastasis in patients with EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer

Authors Wang HY, Yu X, Fan Y, Jiang Y

Received 9 November 2017

Accepted for publication 4 March 2018

Published 13 April 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 2149—2155


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Jianmin Xu

Haiyang Wang,1,* Xiaoqing Yu,1,* Yun Fan,2 Youhua Jiang2

1Department of Second Clinical Medical College, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China; 2Key Laboratory of Diagnosis and Treatment Technology on Thoracic Oncology (Esophagus, Lung), Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: There are many controversies concerning the best management of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with brain metastases (BMs). The use of upfront EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and the withholding of local therapies or upfront radiation therapies (RTs) remain controversial. Available treatment options include local therapies such as whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and surgery, EGFR-TKIs, and chemotherapy. However, the optimal management of combination therapies is still under consideration.
Patients and methods: A total of 45 EGFR-mutated NSCLC patients with BMs were included. All patients successively received EGFR-TKIs, RT (WBRT or SRS), and chemotherapy between 2010 and 2015 at Zhejiang Cancer Hospital. Patient follow-up was conducted by telephone until February 2017. The treatment response was evaluated, and survival data were collected and analyzed by Kaplan–Meier analysis and the Cox regression method.
Results: The median overall survival (OS) was 28 months. Patients with the exon 19 deletion showed the strongest trend toward a longer median OS compared to patients with the exon 21 L858R mutation (not reached vs 26.5 months, P=0.0969). There was no difference in OS between the upfront RT group and the deferral group (26.5 vs 28 months, P=0.57), and similar results were found between the first-line chemotherapy group and the EGFR-TKI group (28 vs 23.2 months, P=0.499). In multivariate analysis, the prognosis correlated with EGFR mutation type (P=0.017).
Conclusion: EGFR-mutant NSCLC patients with BM benefited from the combination and sequential therapies of EGFR-TKIs, chemotherapy, and RTs. Patients with the EGFR exon 19 deletion may have a better OS. However, the optimal timing of RT interval remains to be explored.

Keywords: epidermal growth factor receptor, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, brain metastases, non-small-cell lung cancer, pemetrexed, whole-brain radiation therapy

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