Low-dose Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)- Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition of EGFR Mutation-positive Lung Cancer: Therapeutic Benefits and Associations Between Dosage, Efficacy and Body Surface Area


A key drug for treatment of EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer is epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI). While the dosage of many general anti-tumor drugs is adjusted according to the patient body surface area, one uniform dose of most TKIs is recommended regardless of body size. In many cases, dose reduction or drug cessation is necessary due to adverse effects. Disease control, however, is frequently still effective, even after dose reduction. In this study, we retrospectively reviewed the characteristics of 26 patients at Fukuoka University Hospital between January 2004 and January 2015 in whom the EGFR-TKI dose was reduced with respect to progression free survival and overall survival. There were 10 and 16 patients in the gefitinib group and the erlotinib group, respectively. The median progression-free survival in the gefitinib group and the erlotinib group was 22.4 months and 14.1 months, respectively, and the median overall survival was 30.5 months and 32.4 months, respectively. After stratification of patients by body surface area, the overall median progression-free survival was significantly more prolonged in the low body surface area (<1.45 m2) group (25.6 months) compared to the high body surface area (>1.45 m2) group (9.7 months) (p=0.0131). These results indicate that low-dose EGFR-TKI may sufficiently control disease without side effects in lung cancer patients with a small body size.