Survival Outcomes of Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated with Afatinib Who Are Affected by Early Adverse Events

Jessica M. Logan, Doug A. Brooks, Andrew Rowland, Michael J. Sorich, Ashley M. Hopkins

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Introduction. Afatinib is a first-line treatment option for patients with an advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) expressing an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activating mutation. This study aimed to evaluate the association between early adverse events induced by afatinib and overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS) in patients with advanced NSCLC. Methods. The study was a pooled post hoc analysis of the randomized trials LUX-Lung 3 and LUX-Lung 6 which evaluated afatinib versus pemetrexed-cisplatin or gemcitabine-cisplatin, respectively. Cox proportional hazard analysis was used to assess the impact of adverse events occurring within the first 28 days of afatinib therapy on the PFS and OS outcomes in treatment-naïve advanced NSCLC patients harbouring an EGFR activating mutation. Results. There were 468 patients who initiated first-line afatinib therapy within LUX-Lung 3 and LUX-Lung 6. A significant association between early rash and improved OS (hazard ratio (HR 95% CI); grade 1 = 0.74 [0.56-0.97]; grade 2+ = 0.64 [0.46-0.89]) (P = 0.018) was observed, although no significant association with PFS was present (P = 0.732). A significant association was identified between early diarrhoea and improved PFS (grade 1 = 0.83 [0.62-1.12]; grade 2+ = 0.62 [0.44-0.88]) (P = 0. 015), although no significant association with OS was present (P = 0.605). No associations between early stomatitis or paronychia and OS or PFS were identified. Conclusion. Rash occurring early after the initiation of afatinib was significantly associated with improved OS, an indicator that rash may be a surrogate of patients likely to achieve long-term survival. Consideration of using rash as a dose adjustment target may be warranted for future prospective trials aiming to optimise outcomes with afatinib therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2414897
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer
  • Afatinib
  • patient outcomes


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