Purpose: This multicenter, phase II study evaluates the efficacy and safety of erlotinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, plus sorafenib, a multityrosine kinase inhibitor against vascular endothelial growth factor receptors, in patients with previously untreated advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Experimental Design: Chemotherapy-naïve patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC received erlotinib (150 mg once a day) and sorafenib (400 mg twice a day) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was the rate of nonprogression at 6 weeks. Secondary end points included objective response rate (ORR), time to progression, overall survival, and adverse events. Exploratory end points included pretreatment EGFR and KRAS mutation status, pharmacokinetics, and cytochrome P450 polymorphisms.
Results: Fifty patients initiated therapy. The nonprogression rate at 6 weeks was 74%: 12 (24%) partial response and 25 (50%) stable disease. Ultimately, the ORR was 28%. Median time to progression was 5.0 months [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 3.2-6.8 months]. Median overall survival was 10.9 months (95% CI, 3.8-18.1 months). Grade 3/4 adverse events included fatigue (16%), hand-foot skin reaction (16%), rash (16%), diarrhea (14%), and hypophosphatemia (42%). There was one treatment-related fatal pulmonary hemorrhage. Patients with wild-type EGFR had a higher ORR (19%) than previously reported for single-agent erlotinib/sorafenib. Erlotinib levels were lowered. This was associated with CYP3A4 polymorphism and was possibly due to sorafenib.
Conclusion: Despite a possible drug interaction, sorafenib plus erlotinib has promising clinical activity in patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC and has an acceptable safety profile. Further evaluation of this combination as potential salvage therapy in EGFR mutation–negative patients and the possible drug interaction is warranted. Clin Cancer Res; 16(11); 3078–87. ©2010 AACR.
- Received November 14, 2009.
- Revision received March 9, 2010.
- Accepted April 7, 2010.