Clinical characteristics of non-small cell lung cancer patients who experienced acquired resistance during gefitinib treatment

Hye Ryoun Kim, Jae Chol Lee, Young Chul Kim, Kyu Sik Kim, In Jae Oh, Sung Yong Lee, Tae Won Jang, Min Ki Lee, Kyeong Cheol Shin, Gwan Ho Lee, Jeong Seon Ryu, Seung Hoon Jang, Ji Woong Son, Jeong Eun Lee, Sun Young Kim, Hee Joung Kim, Kye Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The NSCLC patients who experienced good clinical responses to an EGFR-TKI will inevitably develop acquired resistance. A great deal of research is being carried out to discover the molecular mechanisms underlying this resistance. In comparison, few studies have been conducted to find out about the clinical characteristics of acquired resistance in the patients who had responded to an EGFR-TKI. Herein we investigated clinical characteristics of NSCLC patients who experienced acquired resistance during gefitinib therapy. Patients and methods: We reviewed NSCLC patients who showed a clinical benefit from initial gefitinib therapy. All clinical data were obtained from 11 centers of Korean Molecular Lung Cancer Group (KMLCG). The clinical manifestations of acquired resistance, time to progression (TTP), and post-progression survival (PPS) after gefitinib failure were analyzed retrospectively. Results: A total of 417 patients were recruited. Median TTP was 10.2 months (95% CI, 9.5-10.9). TTP showed a significant longer duration in female, non-smoker, and patients with adenocarcinoma. At the time of acquired resistance, 63.3% of the patients showed symptomatic deterioration. Sites of disease progression were as follows: primary lung lesion in 58.4%, previous metastasis in 38.3%, and new metastasis in 54.2%. Patients with EGFR wild type showed a tendency of higher frequency in symptomatic deterioration and newly development of CNS metastasis compared with patients with EGFR mutation. There was a significant difference in newly development of lung metastasis between patients with exon 19 deletion and those with L858R mutation (41.4% vs. 6.3%, p=. 0.02). PPS was 8.9 months (95% CI, 7.4-10.4). Smoking history, PS, new CNS lesion and subsequent chemotherapy were independent factors for PPS. Conclusion: This study suggests that clinical manifestations of acquired resistance may be different according to EGFR mutation status and EGFR mutation genotype. In addition, subsequent chemotherapy confers clinical benefit in terms of PPS in NSCLC patients who experienced acquired resistance after gefitinib therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-258
Number of pages7
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired resistance
  • EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor
  • Failure togefitinib
  • Gefitinib
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Post-progression survival (PPS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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