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Afatinib is an effective therapy for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) but it is associated with a relatively high incidence of severe diarrhea. The association between pre-treatment candidate predictors (age, sex, race, performance status, renal function, hemoglobin, and measures of body mass) and severe (grade ≥ 3) diarrhea was evaluated using logistic regression with pooled individual participant data from seven clinical studies. A risk score was developed based on the count of major risk factors. Overall, 184 of 1151 participants (16%) experienced severe diarrhea with use of afatinib. Body weight, body mass index, and body surface area all exhibited a prominent non-linear association where risk increased markedly at the lower range ( < 0.005). Low weight (<45 kg), female sex, and older age (≥60 years) were identified as major independent risk factors ( < 0.01). Each risk factor was associated with a two-fold increase in the odds of severe diarrhea, and this was consistent between individuals commenced on 40 mg or 50 mg afatinib. A simple risk score based on the count of these risk factors identifies individuals at lowest and highest risk (C-statistic of 0.65). Risk of severe diarrhea for individuals commenced on 40 mg afatinib ranged from 6% for individuals with no risk factors to 33% for individuals with all three risk factors.
PMID: 30326638 [PubMed]