Full Text Sources
Epidermal growth factor receptor ( EGFR) gene mutations identify a molecularly defined subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who display an excellent sensitivity to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). First-generation reversible EGFR TKIs, gefitinib and erlotinib have been proven to improve the objective response rate and to prolong the progression-free survival compared with standard chemotherapy in large phase III trials. Unfortunately, virtually all patients develop resistance to treatment, usually within 9-12 months. Afatinib is an irreversible ErbB family inhibitor initially designed to overcome the development of resistance. Compared with gefitinib in a first-line setting, afatinib prolonged progression-free survival and time to treatment failure, without impacting on overall survival in the general population of EGFR-mutant patients. However, afatinib has been shown to prolong overall survival in the subset of patients with an EGFR exon 19 deletion compared with chemotherapy. The aim of this review is to summarize the clinical evidence available to date and to critically discuss the place in therapy of afatinib in the rapidly expanding landscape of EGFR-mutant NSCLC first-line therapy.
PMID: 30355049 [PubMed - in process]