The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2253-14-55) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests
TCH, CYT and HJC designed the study and interpreted the results. HJC drafted the manuscript. All authors edited and approved the final manuscript.
The toxicity of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) is less than that of cytotoxic agents. The reports of dramatic response and improvement in performance status with the use of EGFR TKIs may influence a physician’s decision-making for patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and life-threatening respiratory distress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of rescue or maintenance therapy with EGFR TKI for stage IIIb-IV non-squamous NSCLC patients requiring mechanical ventilation.
Eighty-three Asian patients with stage IIIb-IV non-squamous NSCLC and who required mechanical ventilation between June 2005 and January 2010 were evaluated.
Of the 83 patients, 16 (19%) were successfully weaned from the ventilator. The use of EGFR TKI as rescue or maintenance therapy during respiratory failure did not improve the rate of successful weaning (standard care 18% vs. with EGFR TKI, 22%; p = 0.81) in univariate and multivariate analyses.
Rescue or maintenance therapy with EGFR TKI for stage IIIb-IV non-squamous NSCLC patients requiring mechanical ventilation was not associated with better outcome. An end-of-life discussion should be an important aspect in the care of this group of patients, since only 19% were successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation.
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- The impact of rescue or maintenance therapy with EGFR TKIs for Stage IIIb-IV non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer patients requiring mechanical ventilation
- BioMed Central
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