Erlotinib in patients with advanced lung squamous cell carcinoma

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2013 Jan;71(1):203-8. doi: 10.1007/s00280-012-1997-5. Epub 2012 Oct 10.


Purpose: Erlotinib had proved efficacy in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, especially adenocarcinoma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of erlotinib in patients with advanced lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSQC).

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed medical records and serial chest images of consecutive patients who were diagnosed with advanced LSQC and had been treated with erlotinib monotherapy. The primary objective was to evaluate the treatment efficacy and to correlate with patients' clinical characteristics.

Results: Totally 55 patients were analyzed (42 men and 13 women, median age of 71 years). In 37 patients who had measurable lesions, 6 had partial response and 13 had stable disease, yielding an overall response rate of 16.2% and disease control rate of 51.4%. In all patients, the median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 2.0 months (95% confidence interval, 1.5-2.4 months) and 10.4 months (95% confidence interval, 0.6-20.2 months), respectively. The PFS and OS were significantly longer in patients who had good clinical response (either the tumor achieved partial response or the patients had disease controlled for more than 6 months) than those who did not (median PFS, 13.0 vs. 1.6 months; median OS, 28.3 vs. 4.9 months; both P values <0.01). Patients who never smoked seemed to have better clinical response and longer survival than those who had smoking history (P = 0.077 and 0.086, respectively).

Conclusions: Erlotinib could provide some clinical benefit to patients with advanced LSQC.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Quinazolines
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride