The first-line treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) generally consists of a maximum of six cycles of platinum-based doublet chemotherapy followed by surveillance for disease progression. Recently, the strategy of starting second-line treatment immediately following the completion of chemotherapy, known as 'maintenance' chemotherapy, has been investigated. The use of maintenance pemetrexed improves both progression-free and overall survival, while the use of maintenance docetaxel did not significantly improve overall survival. The Sequential Tarceva in Unresectable NSCLC (SATURN) study investigated the use of maintenance erlotinib following the completion of first-line chemotherapy. It demonstrated a significant improvement in overall survival from 11.1 months in the placebo group to 12.3 months in patients receiving maintenance erlotinib, with the important caveat that only 21% of patients in the placebo group ever received erlotinib. A subset of patients whose tumors had EGF receptor mutations had a higher magnitude of benefit from maintenance treatment. Therefore, maintenance erlotinib should be considered in the treatment of patients with NSCLC.
View details for DOI 10.2217/FON.10.156
View details for Web of Science ID 000297100400007
View details for PubMedID 21142856