Purpose This multicenter phase II study was undertaken to investigate the efficacy and feasibility of gefitinib for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations without indication for chemotherapy as a result of poor performance status (PS). Patients and Methods Chemotherapy-naïve patients with poor PS (patients 20 to 74 years of age with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS 3 to 4, 75 to 79 years of age with PS 2 to 4, and ≥ 80 years of age with PS 1 to 4) who had EGFR mutations examined by the peptide nucleic acid-locked nucleic acid polymerase chain reaction clamp method were enrolled and received gefitinib (250 mg/d) alone. Results Between February 2006 and May 2007, 30 patients with NSCLC and poor PS, including 22 patients with PS 3 to 4, were enrolled. The overall response rate was 66% (90% CI, 51% to 80%), and the disease control rate was 90%. PS improvement rate was 79% (P < .00005); in particular, 68% of the 22 patients improved from ≥ PS 3 at baseline to ≤ PS 1. The median progression-free survival, median survival time, and 1-year survival rate were 6.5 months, 17.8 months, and 63%, respectively. No treatment-related deaths were observed. Conclusion This is the first report indicating that EGFR mutation-positive patients with extremely poor PS benefit from first-line gefitinib. Because there previously has been no standard treatment for these patients with short life expectancy other than best supportive care, examination of EGFR mutations as a biomarker is recommended in this patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas