Purpose: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene copy number detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) has proven to be useful for selection of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients for treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Here, we evaluate EGFR FISH as a predictive marker in NSCLC patients receiving the EGFR monoclonal antibody inhibitor cetuximab plus chemotherapy. Patients and Methods: Two hundred twenty-nine chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced-stage NSCLC were enrolled onto a phase II selection trial evaluating sequential or concurrent chemotherapy (paclitaxel plus carboplatin) with cetuximab. Results: EGFR FISH was assessable in 76 patients with available tumor tissue and classified as positive (four or more gene copies per cell in ≥ 40% of the cells or gene amplification) in 59.2%. Response (complete response/partial response) was numerically higher in FISH-positive (45%) versus FISH-negative (26%) patients (P = .14), whereas disease control rate (complete response/partial response plus stable disease) was statistically superior (81% v 55%, respectively; P = .02). Patients with FISH-positive tumors had a median progression-free survival time of 6 months compared with 3 months for FISH-negative patients (P = .0008). Median survival time was 15 months for the FISH-positive group compared with 7 months for patients who were FISH negative. (P = .04). Furthermore, survival favored FISH-positive patients receiving concurrent therapy. Conclusion: These results are the first to suggest that EGFR FISH is a predictive factor for selection of NSCLC patients for cetuximab plus chemotherapy. Prospective validation of these findings is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research