International Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2020, Vol 30, Num 2 Page(s): 001-006
Efficacy and Safety of Erlotinib in Previously Treated Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Halit KARACA1, Caglayan GEREDELI2, M. Ali KAPLAN3, Umut DEMIRCI4, Suleyman ALICI5, Mehmet ARTAC2, Abdurrahman ISIKDOGAN3, Mustafa BENEKLI4, Ozan BALAKAN6, Erkan ARPACI7, Burcin BUDAKOGLU8, Dogan UNCU9, Tunc GULER2, Veli BERK1, Metin OZKAN1

1Erciyes University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Kayseri, TURKEY
2Selcuk University Meram Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Konya, TURKEY
3Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Diyarbakir, TURKEY
4Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara, TURKEY
5Medical Park Goztepe Hospital, Department of Medical Oncology, Istanbul, TURKEY
6Gaziantep University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Gaziantep, TURKEY
7Ankara Oncology Hospital, First Department of Medical Oncology- Ankara, TURKEY
8Ankara Oncology Hospital, Second Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara, TURKEY
9Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara, TURKEY

Keywords: Non-small-cell lung cancer, Targeted therapy, Erlotinib, Epidermal growth factor receptor
Erlotinib is a potent inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase, with single-agent antitumor activity which improves symptom control and quality of life compared with placebo in non-small-cell-lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. We aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of the second, third or fourth–line erlotinib in advanced NSCLC patients in Turkish population.


Eighty patients (33 males and 47 females) were retrospectively evaluated. All patients had received a platinum-based regimen as the first-line metastatic therapy. Most of the patients (62.5%) had received erlotinib as the second-line treatment. None of the patients had EGFR mutation studied. One patient achieved a complete response, 10 patients partial response and 21 stable diseases. The overall response rate was 14% and disease control rate was 40%. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 12 months and 18 months, respectively. Although, there was no survival difference between male and female patients, the median PFS of females was significantly better than male patients (p=0.03). There was no significant difference in disease control rate in terms of age, smoking status, erlotinib line, performance status (PS), stage and skin rash. The most common adverse events were skin rash (56%), diarrhea (9%) and anorexia (8%). Sixteen patients (20%) developed grade 3 toxicities. Grade 4 toxicity or treatment related interstitial lung disease were not observed. Erlotinib showed an acceptable response rate, survival time and toxicity after disease progression with chemotherapy. It's an alternative therapy as a second or third-line therapy in patients with NSCLC. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate the efficiency of the treatment in Turkish population.