Outcome, quality of life and cognitive function of patients with brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer treated with whole brain radiotherapy combined with gefitinib or temozolomide. A randomised phase II trial of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK 70/03)

Gianfranco A. Pesce*, Dirk Klingbiel, Karin Ribi, Abderahim Zouhair, Roger Von Moos, Marc Schlaeppi, Clemens B. Caspar, Natalie Fischer, Sandro Anchisi, Solange Peters, Richard Cathomas, Jürg Bernhard, Nina M. Kotrubczik, Giannicola D'Addario, Christiane Pilop, Damien C. Weber, Stephan Bodis, Miklos Pless, Michael Mayer, Roger Stupp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Patients with brain metastases (BM) rarely survive longer than 6 months and are commonly excluded from clinical trials. We explored two combined modality regimens with novel agents with single agent activity and radiosensitizing properties. Patients and methods: In this randomised phase II trial patients with BM from NSCLC were randomly assigned to 30 Gy WBRT with either concomitant gefitinib (GFT) 250 mg/day continuously or temozolomide (TMZ) 75 mg/m2 for 21/28 days. The primary end-point was overall survival, with quality of life and cognitive function as secondary end-points. Results: We enrolled 59 patients (GFT 16, TMZ 43), and 56 patients have died, mainly (80%) from disease progression. Four patients succumbed complications of the disease or corticosteroids (intestinal perforation (2), CNS haemorrhage and pulmonary emboli). Median overall survival in the gefitinib arm was 6.3 months (95% CI 2.1-14.6), and 4.9 months (95% CI 2.3-5.6) in TMZ treated patients. Fatigue was the main complaint. Conclusions: No relevant toxicity with those therapeutic regimens was observed. Fatal outcome in three patients may have been related to corticosteroids. Cognitive function improved during treatment. However, median overall survival for all patients was only 4.9 months (95% CI 2.3-5.7) and 1-year survival 25.4% (95% CI 15.4-37.0%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-384
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Brain metastases
  • Cognitive function
  • Gefitinib
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Temozolomide
  • Whole brain radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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