Julia K. Rotow, MD, discusses the excitement of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancers.
Julia K. Rotow, MD, medical oncologist, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the excitement of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for the treatment of patients with EGFR-mutant lung cancers.
Gefitinib (Iressa) is a first-generation EGFR TKI that has shown activity in the first-line setting as well as for patients who have received prior chemotherapy, Rotow says. The progression-free survival (PFS) associated with this agent is just under 1 year, and the agent has also induced response rates in the 70% to 80% range.
Osimertinib (Tagrisso) is a third-generation EGFR TKI that has been approved most recently in the frontline setting. This agent has led to a PFS of 18.9 months and has good response rates in the 80% range, says Rotow. This agent is not only exciting because of the PFS and response rates but also because the agent is very tolerable.
Rotow says that what is most exciting about osimertinib compared with the first-generation EGFR TKIs like gefitinib, however, is its activity in the central nervous system (CNS). Development of CNS is a significant challenge for patients with advanced lung cancer, so this is an exciting component of osimertinib.