EGFR mutation of tumor and serum in gefitinib-treated patients with chemotherapy-naive non-small cell lung cancer

J Thorac Oncol. 2006 Mar;1(3):260-7. doi: 10.1016/s1556-0864(15)31577-x.


Background: The authors evaluate the efficacy and safety of gefitinib monotherapy in chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A secondary endpoint is to evaluate the relationship between clinical manifestations and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status.

Methods: Japanese chemotherapy-naive NSCLC patients were enrolled. They had measurable lesions, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 2, and adequate organ and bone marrow function. Patients received 250 mg of oral gefitinib daily. EGFR mutations in exon 18, 19, and 21 of DNA extracted from tumor and serum were analyzed by genomic polymerase chain reaction and direct sequence.

Results: All 30 patients were eligible for the assessment of efficacy and safety. An objective response and stable disease were observed in 10 patients (33.3%) and nine patients (30.0%), respectively. The median time to progression was 3.3 months and the median overall survival was 10.6 months. The 1-year survival rate was 43.3%. Grade 3 toxicities were observed in seven patients. EGFR mutation was observed in four of 13 (30.8%) tumors, and two of them achieved partial response. In serum samples, three of 10 patients with EGFR mutations in the serum before treatment had a response to gefitinib. EGFR mutation was observed in 10 of 27 and significantly more frequently observed in the posttreatment samples from patients with a partial response or stable disease than in those from patients with progressive disease (p = 0.006).

Conclusions: Gefitinib monotherapy in chemotherapy-naive NSCLC patients was active, with acceptable toxicities. These results warrant further evaluation of gefitinib monotherapy as a first-line therapy. The EGFR mutation in serum DNA may be a biomarker for monitoring the response to gefitinib during treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • DNA / blood*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Gefitinib
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Quinazolines / adverse effects
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Quinazolines
  • DNA
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Gefitinib