Meta-analysis of first-line therapies in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer harboring EGFR-activating mutations

Benjamin Haaland, Pui San Tan, Gilberto De Castro, Gilberto Lopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION:: Tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib have been compared with chemotherapy as first-line therapies for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer harboring epidermal growth factor receptor-activating mutations. This meta-analysis compares gefitinib, erlotinib, afatinib, and chemotherapy. METHODS:: Literature search was performed using relevant keywords. Direct and indirect meta-estimates were generated using log-linear mixed-effects models, with random effects for study. Study-to-study heterogeneity was summarized using I statistics and predictive intervals (PIs). RESULTS:: Literature search yielded eight randomized phase 3 clinical trials comparing gefitinib, erlotinib, or afatinib with chemotherapy as first-line therapy in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer during the last 5 years. Hazard ratio meta-estimates for progression-free survival were for gefitinib versus chemotherapy 0.44 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.31-0.63; 95% PI, 0.22-0.88), erlotinib versus chemotherapy 0.25 (95% CI, 0.15-0.42; 95% PI, 0.11-0.55), afatinib versus chemotherapy 0.44 (95% CI, 0.26-0.75; 95% PI, 0.20-0.98), erlotinib versus gefitinib 0.57 (95% CI, 0.30-1.08; 95% PI, 0.24-1.36), afatinib versus gefitinib 1.01 (95% CI, 0.53-1.92; 95% PI, 0.41-2.42), and erlotinib versus afatinib 0.56 (95% CI, 0.27-1.18; 95% PI, 0.22-1.46). Results for overall response rate and disease control rate were similar. There was no evidence that gefitinib, erlotinib, or afatinib improved overall survival compared with chemotherapy. CONCLUSION:: Gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib out-performed chemotherapy in terms of progression-free survival, overall response rate, and disease control rate. Differences among gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib were not statistically significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-811
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidermal growth factor receptor-activating mutations
  • Meta-analysis
  • Non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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