Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

First-line angiogenesis inhibitor plus erlotinib versus erlotinib alone for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer harboring an EGFR mutation.

Landre T, Guetz GDes, Chouahnia K, Duchemann B, Assié J-B, Chouaid C J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2020;146(12):3333-3339.

PURPOSE: Erlotinib is indicated as first-line treatment for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring an epidermal growth-factor-receptor (EGFR) mutation. Addition of a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor (anti-VEGF) in combination with the tyrosine-kinase inhibitor erlotinib in this setting is controversial.

METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized trials comparing anti-VEGF plus erlotinib vs erlotinib alone as first-line therapy for advanced NSCLC harboring an EGFR mutation. Outcomes included overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR) and median duration of response (DOR). A fixed-effect model was used.

RESULTS: Four studies evaluated bevacizumab + erlotinib (ARTEMIS, NEJ026, J025667, Stinchcombe et al.), and another evaluated ramucirumab + erlotinib (RELAY). These five eligible studies included 1230 non-squamous NSCLC patients, 654 (53.2%) with exon 19 deletion (ex19del) and 568 (46.8%) with EGFR. Patients were predominantly women (63%), Asians (85%) and non-smokers (60%); the median age was 64 years. The combination (anti-VEGF + erlotinib) was significantly associated with prolonged PFS (hazards ratio [HR] 0.59 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51-0.69]; p < 0.00001). The combination achieved significantly longer median DOR (p < 0.005). Based on interim analyses, OS (HR 0.90 [0.68-1.19]; p = 0.45) and ORR (odds ratio 1.19 [95% CI 0.91-1.55]; p = 0.21 were comparable.

CONCLUSIONS: For patients with untreated, advanced, EGFR-mutation-harboring NSCLCs, the anti-VEGF + erlotinib combination, compared to erlotinib alone, was associated with significantly prolonged PFS but mature data for OS are needed to confirm the benefit of this strategy.

MeSH terms: Adult; Aged; Angiogenesis Inhibitors; Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols; Bevacizumab; Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung; ErbB Receptors; Erlotinib Hydrochloride; Female; Humans; Lung Neoplasms; Male; Middle Aged; Mutation; Progression-Free Survival; Protein Kinase Inhibitors
DOI: 10.1007/s00432-020-03311-w