A phase I study of afatinib for patients aged 75 or older with advanced non-small cell lung cancer harboring EGFR mutations

Med Oncol. 2018 Feb 8;35(3):34. doi: 10.1007/s12032-018-1098-3.


This phase I trial was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended dose of afatinib for phase II trial in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. The study used a standard 3 + 3 dose escalation design. Patients aged 75 years or older with advanced NSCLC harboring EGFR mutations were enrolled. The doses of afatinib, which were given once daily, were planned as follows: level 1, 20 mg/day; level 2, 30 mg/day; level 3, 40 mg/day. Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was defined as grade 4 hematologic, persistent grade > 2 diarrhea for > 2 days despite concomitant medications or grade 3 non-hematologic toxicity. DLT was evaluated during day 1-28. Fifteen patients were enrolled. Patient characteristics were: male/female 3/12; median age 79 (range 75-87); PS 0/1, 2/13. Six patients have been treated at levels 1 and 3, and three patients at level 2. At level 1, one of six patients experienced grade 3 rush, grade 3 anorexia, and grade 3 infection as DLTs. At level 2, none of three patients experienced a DLT. At level 3, two patients developed grade 3 diarrhea, one of whom also experienced grade 3 anorexia. Most frequent adverse events of any grade were diarrhea, paronychia, rush, and nausea. Most patients at level 2 and 3 required dose reduction in 3 months. MTD was defined as 40 mg/day, and recommended dose for phase II study in elderly patients was 30 mg/day.

Keywords: Afatinib; Elderly patients; Epidermal growth factor receptor mutation; Non-small cell lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Afatinib
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Mutation*
  • Prognosis
  • Quinazolines / therapeutic use*
  • Survival Rate


  • Quinazolines
  • Afatinib
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors