Dacomitinib in the Management of Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Drugs. 2019 Jun;79(8):823-831. doi: 10.1007/s40265-019-01115-y.


The use of targeted therapy in the management of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutated non-small-cell lung cancer is an important milestone in the management of advanced lung cancer. There are several generations of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors available for clinical use. Dacomitinib is a second-generation irreversible EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor with early-phase clinical studies showing efficacy in non-small-cell lung cancer. In the recently published ARCHER 1050 phase III study, dacomitinib given at 45 mg/day orally was superior to gefitinib, a first-generation reversible EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in improving both progression-free survival and overall survival when given as first-line therapy. There is no prospective evidence to support the use of dacomitinib as subsequent therapy in patients previously treated with chemotherapy or a first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor such as gefitinib and erlotinib. Dacomitinib has not demonstrated any benefit in unselected patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, and its use should be limited to those with known EGFR-sensitizing mutations. Dacomitinib is associated with increased toxicities of diarrhea, rash, stomatitis, and paronychia compared with first-generation EGFR inhibitors. Global quality of life was maintained when assessed in phase III studies. Overall, dacomitinib is an important first- line agent in EGFR-mutated non-small-cell lung cancer in otherwise fit patients whose toxicities can be well managed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride / therapeutic use
  • Gefitinib / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Mutation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life
  • Quinazolinones / administration & dosage
  • Quinazolinones / pharmacology
  • Quinazolinones / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Quinazolinones
  • dacomitinib
  • Erlotinib Hydrochloride
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Gefitinib