Purpose: Early clinical studies with gefitinib showed promising efficacy and mild toxicity in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Thus, gefitinib was an ideal agent to evaluate in a maintenance setting in stage III disease. Patients and Methods: Untreated patients with stage III NSCLC, a performance score of 0 to 1, and adequate organ function were eligible. All patients received cisplatin 50 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8 plus etoposide 50 mg/m2 on days 1 to 5, every 28 days for two cycles with concurrent thoracic radiation (1.8- to 2-Gy fractions per day; total dose, 61 Gy) followed by three cycles of docetaxel 75 mg/m2. Patients whose disease did not progress were randomly assigned to gefitinib 250 mg/d or placebo until disease progression, intolerable toxicity, or the end of 5 years. The planned sample size was 672 patients to confer power of 0.89 to detect a 33% increase over the expected median survival time of 21 months (one-sided P = .025, log-rank test). Random assignment was stratified by stage, histology, and measurable versus nonmeasurable disease. Results: Enrollment began in July 2001. An unplanned interim analysis conducted in April 2005 rejected the alternative hypothesis of improved survival at the P = .0015 level for 243 randomly assigned patients. The study closed, and preliminary results were reported. Now, with a median follow-up time of 27 months, median survival time was 23 months for gefitinib (n = 118) and 35 months for placebo (n = 125; two-sided P = .013). The toxic death rate was 2% with gefitinib compared with 0% for placebo. Conclusion: In this unselected population, gefitinib did not improve survival. Decreased survival was a result of tumor progression and not gefitinib toxicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research