Importance: The use of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage IB-IIIA resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has limited benefit for improving cure rates. The proportion of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) alterations among patients with resected NSCLC is comparable to that observed in patients with advanced disease, and the use of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has been demonstrated to prolong disease-free survival (DFS). With recent approval of osimertinib in this context, a focus on the rapidly evolving scenario and future perspective in clinical practice is needed and was the aim of the current review.
Observations: Randomized phase 3 clinical trials demonstrated DFS benefit with adjuvant EGFR TKI therapy in patients with resected EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC. The most recent trial (ADAURA) assessed 3-year adjuvant osimertinib and showed consistent DFS benefit and a significant role of the intervention in preventing the occurrence of brain metastasis. However, the role of adjuvant chemotherapy, the appropriate duration of treatment, the management of disease relapse, and the effective cure rate remain undetermined. A deeper investigation on molecular biomarkers, covariant patterns, and dynamic monitoring of postsurgical circulating DNA would be helpful for the implementation of future strategies to further improve survival rates after adjuvant therapy for EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC.
Conclusions and relevance: Adjuvant osimertinib revolutionized the treatment algorithm for patients with stage IB-IIIA resected EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC. Further evidence driven by clinical issues will be key for further optimization of the goals of adjuvant treatment in these patients.