Gefitinib (ZD1839) in Previously Treated Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Experience From a Single Institution

George R. Simon, John C. Ruckdeschel, Charles Williams, Alan Cantor, Alberto Chiappori, Caio M.Rocha Lima, Scott Antonia, Eric Haura, Henry Wagner, Lary Robinson, Eric Sommers, Michael Alberts, Gerold Bepler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: We conducted an analysis of gefitinib in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to assess the antitumor efficacy of this epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Methods: Our single-center, prospective landmark analysis included 183 patients with advanced NSCLC who received 250 mg of gefitinib orally once daily in an expanded-use program at our institution. Thirty-three of the 183 patients were previously untreated. The patients included in this analysis had all received at least 12 weeks of gefitinib. Results: The objective tumor response rate was 3.8%, but an additional 53.5% of patients experienced clinically meaningful disease stabilization. Median progression-free survival time was 3.6 months, and median overall survival time was 8.8 months. The 1-year survival rate for the entire cohort was 35%. Predictors of longer survival included female gender, adenocarcinoma or bronchoalveolar carcinoma histology, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1. Adverse events were generally mild (grade 1 or 2) and consisted mainly of skin reactions and diarrhea. Conclusions: In this single-center experience, gefitinib demonstrated clinically significant antitumor activity and provided good palliation in a predominantly pretreated group of patients. Our results, which are likely to be reproducible in a community setting, demonstrated a 1-year survival rate of 35% in a cohort of patients who were able to take the drug for at least 12 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-395
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Control
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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