First-Line Pemetrexed Plus Cisplatin Followed by Gefitinib Maintenance Therapy Versus Gefitinib Monotherapy in East Asian Never-Smoker Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Nonsquamous Non-Small-cell Lung Cancer: Quality of Life Results From a Randomized Phase III Trial

Clin Lung Cancer. 2016 Mar;17(2):150-60. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2015.12.004. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


Background: The efficacy results from an open-label, randomized, multicenter study found no significant difference in progression-free survival between pemetrexed plus cisplatin followed by maintenance gefitinib (PC/G) and gefitinib monotherapy (G) in patients with advanced nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and unknown epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status (hazard ratio favored PC/G). The present report describes the quality of life (QoL) results from that trial.

Patients and methods: Chemotherapy-naive, East Asian, light ex-smokers or never-smokers with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC and unknown EGFR mutation status (n = 236) were randomly assigned (1:1) to PC/G or G. EGFR mutation status was subsequently determined for 74 patients. The symptoms and QoL were assessed using the Lung Cancer Symptom Scale (LCSS). The time to worsening of symptoms (TWS) was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: In the overall population, the TWS was generally longer in the G group (n = 109) than in the PC/G group (n = 109) for the LCSS symptoms classified as treatment-related (loss of appetite, fatigue) and tumor-related (cough, dyspnea, hemoptysis, pain). In the subgroup of patients with wild-type EGFR, the TWS was generally longer in the PC/G group (n = 13) than in the G group (n = 8) for the tumor-related LCSS symptoms.

Conclusion: In this study population clinically selected to respond to gefitinib, the LCSS scores were more favorable in the G group than in the PC/G group. Patients with wild-type EGFR tended to show greater improvement in tumor-related LCSS symptoms with chemotherapy than with gefitinib alone. These LCSS outcomes provide further evidence that patients with wild-type EGFR might not benefit from first-line treatment of advanced NSCLC with gefitinib.

Keywords: Adenocarcinoma; Chemotherapy; Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Patient-reported outcomes; Phase III.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Female
  • Gefitinib
  • Humans
  • Induction Chemotherapy
  • Maintenance Chemotherapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pemetrexed / therapeutic use
  • Quality of Life
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use
  • Smoking
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Quinazolines
  • Pemetrexed
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Cisplatin
  • Gefitinib