First-line Treatment Options for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) With EGFR Mutation

The chemotherapy drugs gefitinib and erlotinib block proteins that stimulate cancer to grow, therefore preventing growth of cancer cells. The drug afatinib works in a similar manner but can be used against cancer cells that are not sensitive to the two drugs.

Some cancer cells have proteins on their surface called epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs). Gene changes known as mutations can produce abnormal EGFRs, causing cancer. The above 3 drugs should be considered in treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with such gene mutations. If such a mutation is discovered in the midst of undergoing first-line treatment, the therapy can be interrupted or first-line chemotherapy can be completed before starting treatment with the above drugs.