Department of Oncology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Republic of Korea.
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring an activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation shows good and rapid response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). We prospectively evaluated the efficacy of EGFR TKI for metastatic brain tumors in NSCLC patients harboring EGFR mutation. This was an open-label, single-institution, phase II study. Patients diagnosed with NSCLC harboring EGFR mutation and measurable metastatic brain tumors were eligible. They received either erlotinib or gefitinib once a day. Out of total 28 patients enrolled, 23 patients (83%) showed a partial response (PR) and 3 patients (11%) did stable disease (SD), giving a disease control rate of 93%. Median progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 6.6 months (95% CI, 3.8-9.3 months) and 15.9 months (95% CI, 7.2-24.6 months), respectively. There was no difference in PFS and OS according to EGFR TKIs used. After discontinuation of the treatment, 14 patients (50%) received local therapy for metastatic brain tumors during their disease course, either whole brain radiotherapy or radiosurgery, giving a local therapy-free interval of 12.6 months (95% CI, 7.6-17.6 months). EGFR TKI therapy might be the treatment of choice for metastatic brain tumors in NSCLC patients harboring an activating EGFRmutation.