Overall Survival From the EORTC LCG-1613 APPLE Trial of Osimertinib Versus Gefitinib Followed by Osimertinib in Advanced EGFR-Mutant Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2024 Apr 20;42(12):1350-1356. doi: 10.1200/JCO.23.01521. Epub 2024 Feb 7.


Clinical trials frequently include multiple end points that mature at different times. The initial report, typically based on the primary end point, may be published when key planned co-primary or secondary analyses are not yet available. Clinical Trial Updates provide an opportunity to disseminate additional results from studies, published in JCO or elsewhere, for which the primary end point has already been reported.Osimertinib has been established as a standard of care for patients with common sensitizing EGFR-mutant advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) although the sequential approach (first-generation inhibitor gefitinib followed by osimertinib) has not been formally compared. The phase II APPLE trial (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02856893) enrolled 156 treatment-naïve patients, and two treatment strategies were evaluated: osimertinib up front or the sequential treatment approach with gefitinib up front followed by osimertinib at the time of progression, either molecular progression (detection of plasma T790M resistance mutation) regardless of the radiologic status or just at the time of radiologic progression. Patients' characteristics were well balanced, except for the higher proportion of baseline brain metastases in the sequential approach (29% v 19%). Per protocol, 73% of patients switched to osimertinib in the sequential arm. Up-front treatment with osimertinib was associated with a lower risk of brain progression versus the sequential approach (hazard ratio [HR], 0.54 [90% CI, 0.34 to 0.86]), but a comparable overall survival was observed between both strategies (HR, 1.01 [90% CI, 0.61 to 1.68]), with the 18-month survival probability of 84% and 82.3%, respectively. The APPLE trial suggests that a sequential treatment approach is associated with more frequent progression in the brain but a similar survival in advanced EGFR-mutant NSCLC.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamides*
  • Aniline Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung* / drug therapy
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • Gefitinib / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Indoles*
  • Lung Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Mutation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Pyrimidines*


  • Gefitinib
  • osimertinib
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Aniline Compounds
  • EGFR protein, human
  • Acrylamides
  • Indoles
  • Pyrimidines

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02856893