Adjuvant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment may enhance disease-free survival and reduce the risk for developing distant metastasis in patients with EGFR mutation-positive non-small cell lung cancer who are undergoing complete resection, a study published in the journal Chest has shown.1

Because the role of EGFR TKIs in the adjuvant treatment of NSCLC has not been well defined, researchers sought to conduct a meta-analysis to determine whether treatment with these agents could improve the outcomes of patients undergoing complete resection for their disease.

For the study, researchers analyzed 5 studies that included a total of 1960 patients in order to assess the effect on disease-free survival, overall survival, and disease relapse.

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Results showed that adjuvant EGFR TKI treatment was associated with a significant benefit on disease-free survival (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74 – 1.00). In particular, researchers found that in studies with a median treatment duration of more than 18 months, the survival benefit with adjuvant EGFR TKIs was superior.

EGFR mutation-positive patients specifically benefitted even more with adjuvant EGFR TKI therapy, with an absolute disease-free survival benefit of 9.5% at 3 years and a reduced risk of distant metastasis (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.56 – 0.92). There was also a marginally statistically significant benefit on overall survival with this treatment approach (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.49 – 1.06).

In terms of safety, grade 3 or higher adverse events occurred in 42.3% (95% CI, 39.1 – 45.6) of patients.


  1. Huang Q, Li J, Sun Y, et al. Efficacy of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the adjuvant treatment for operable non-small-cell lung cancer by a meta-analysis [published online ahead of print December 2015]. Chest. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2015.12.017.