Background: Bisphosphonates have exhibited anti-tumor activity in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We aimed to evaluate whether the combination of bisphosphonates with tyrosine kinase inhibitors of EGFR (EGFR-TKIs) could obtain a synergistic effect on advanced NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations.
Methods: Between January 2008 and October 2013, 114 advanced EGFR mutations NSCLC patients who received EGFR-TKIs as first-line therapy were recruited from two cancer centers. Patients were separated into EGFR-TKIs alone or EGFR-TKIs plus bisphosphonates (combination) group. Median progression free survival (mPFS), median overall survival (mOS) distributions and survival curves were analyzed.
Results: Among the 114 patients, 62 had bone metastases (19 patients treated with EGFR-TKIs, 43 patients treated with EGFR-TKIs + bisphosphonates). Median PFS and OS were significantly improved in combination group compared with EGFR-TKIs group (mPFS: 15.0 vs 7.3 months, P = 0.0017; mOS: 25.2 vs 10.4 months, P = 0.0015) in patients with bone metastases. Among the 71 patients (19 patients with bone metastases) treated with EGFR-TKIs alone, patients with bone metastases had poor survival prognosis (mPFS:7.3 vs 12.1 months, P = 0.0434; mOS:10.4 vs 22.0 months, P = 0.0036). The survival of patients with bone metastases who received EGFR-TKIs plus bisphosphonates therapy was non-inferior to patients without bone metastases treated with EGFR-TKIs alone (mPFS: 15.0 vs 12.1 months, p = 0.1871; mOS: 25.2 vs 22.0 months, p = 0.9798).
Conclusions: Concomitant use of bisphosphonates and EGFR-TKIs improves therapeutic efficacy and brings survival benefits to NSCLC patients with EGFR mutation and bone metastases.
Keywords: EGFR mutations; EGFR-TKIs; NSCLC; bisphosphonates; bone metastases.