Gefitinib ('Iressa', ZD1839) is active against brain metastases in a 77 year old patient

J Neurooncol. 2005 Feb;71(3):277-80. doi: 10.1007/s11060-004-1719-x.


This report highlights the case of a symptomatic 77-year-old non-smoking female patient who was diagnosed with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), metastatic to the liver and contralateral lung. After tumor progression in the liver and lung following polychemotherapy, multiple diffuse brain and cerebellar metastases were apparent. Oral treatment with the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib ('Iressa') 250 mg/day resulted in progressive and durable symptom relief, and improvements in quality of life and performance status. Reductions in the size of the primary pulmonary tumor and brain, cerebellar, and liver metastases were observed. Furthermore, gefitinib was well tolerated with an absence of adverse events. These results provide evidence that oral gefitinib is active in patients with advanced NSCLC and central nervous system metastases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary*
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Female
  • Gefitinib
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Quinazolines
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Gefitinib