Poziotinib for EGFR and HER2 exon 20 insertion mutation in advanced NSCLC: Results from the expanded access program

Eur J Cancer. 2021 May:149:235-248. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2021.02.038. Epub 2021 Apr 2.


Background: The treatment of metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (mNSCLC) patients with EGFR/HER2 exon 20 insertion mutation (i-mut) remains an unmet clinical need. Poziotinib, a new generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is currently under investigation as a potential targeted therapy. This compassionate study of its use aims to describe the activity/toxicity of poziotinib in mNSCLC with EGFR/HER2-exon-20-i-mut.

Patients and methods: NSCLC patients who were treated either with EGFR or HER2 exon 20-i-mut within an expanded access program were included in this study. Poziotinib (16 mg or less) was administrated orally quaque die (QD). The primary end-point was the overall response rate (ORR) assessed by central review using RECIST v1.1, and secondary end-points were median progression free survival (PFS), disease control rate (DCR), median overall survival (OS) and toxicity.

Results: The median age of all the 30 patients was 58 years (25-80 years), most of them were females (73%); ECOG 0-1 (83%), EGFR i-mut (73%) and pre-treated (83%). 73% started with poziotinib at a dose of 16 mg. At data cut-off, 22 of 33 patients (73%) experienced a progress in the disease and 12 of 30 (40%) died. Median PFS was 5.6 months (95% CI: 3.6-6.7 months) and the mOS 9.5 months (95% CI: 5.3 - not-reached months). The ORR was 30% (EGFR/HER2: 23/50%) and DCR 80%. G3 AEs were reported in 66% of the patients and were found with skin rash (50%), diarrhoea (17.6%), mucositis (7%) and paronychia (3%). G5, possibly associated with pneumonitis might also have occurred.

Conclusions: Poziotinib exhibited effects in mNSCLC patients with EGFR/HER2-exon 20-i-mut. The toxicity rate was high leading to frequent dose interruption and reduction, thereby reducing mPFS in patients with good ORR/DCR. ZENITH20 trial is now being used to evaluate the low dose and new scheduled dose (e.g. bis in die (BID)).

Keywords: EGFR; Exon 20 insertion mutation; HER2; NSCLC; Poziotinib.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary
  • Compassionate Use Trials
  • Disease Progression
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional*
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Quinazolines / administration & dosage*
  • Quinazolines / adverse effects
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • HM781-36B
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Quinazolines
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2