A population-based study of gefitinib in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

Med Oncol. 2009;26(2):222-7. doi: 10.1007/s12032-008-9110-y. Epub 2008 Oct 31.


Survival data for non-small cell lung cancer is typically reported from clinical trials that include patients fit enough to meet treatment criteria. The denominator of all patients from which the gefitinib-treated population is derived has rarely been reported and the impact of gefitinib on population-based outcomes is difficult to measure. We have retrospectively reviewed data of 626 patients who received gefitinib in Ibaraki Prefecture (with a population of 3 million) in Japan from July 2002 until September 2007. Overall response rate was found to 30.8%, and the median survival time was 8.0 months (95% confidence interval: 7.0-9.0 months). Female gender, good PS, and adenocarcinoma were significantly associated with prolonged survival. Adverse events were generally mild and were mostly skin reactions and diarrhea. Our population-based study has generated similar results to those previously reported in published clinical trials, which had restrictive criteria for eligible patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Gefitinib
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quinazolines / adverse effects
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*
  • Smoking / epidemiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Quinazolines
  • Gefitinib