This randomized phase II study was initially designed to test the activity of two dose schedules of lapatinib (GW572016H), an oral, reversible, dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human EGFR-2 (HER2/neu; HER2), in chemotherapy-naive patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); it was later amended to target patients with bronchioloalveolar carcinoma or no smoking history.
Patients with good performance status and recurrent or metastatic NSCLC were randomized to lapatinib (orally, 1,500 mg once daily or 500 mg twice daily) until progression or intolerance. Patients could have had a maximum of one prior systemic therapy (chemotherapy or biological therapy) for NSCLC. Safety and activity were assessed every 4 and 8 weeks, respectively. Tumors were analyzed for EGFR and HER2 mutations and/or amplifications.
Of 75 patients in the nontargeted population, 1 (1.3%) had partial response and 16 (21%) had stable disease of >or=24 weeks. No complete or partial responses were observed in 56 patients in the targeted population; 14 (25%) had stable disease of >or=24 weeks. No responses were seen in three patients with EGFR mutations and five with EGFR gene amplification. No mutations in HER2 were found. One of two patients with HER2 amplification had a 51% decrease in tumor size; however, this response was unconfirmed. The most common adverse events were grade 1 or 2 diarrhea, rash, fatigue, nausea, and anorexia. Adverse events were similar across dosing regimens.
Lapatinib was well tolerated, with no notable difference in toxicity between treatment groups. Lapatinib monotherapy did not induce a significant number of tumor regressions in NSCLC. Further studies may be warranted to determine whether lapatinib is active in combination with other agents in the treatment of NSCLC.