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Pawel, Joachim; Wagner, Horst; Duell, Thomas and Poellinger, Barbara (2008): Erlotinib in patients with previously irradiated, recurrent brain metastases from non-small cell lung cancer: Two case reports. In: Onkologie, No. 3: pp. 123-126 [PDF, 165kB]


Background: With the current improvements in primary lung care, the long-term control of brain metastases becomes a clinical challenge. No established therapeutic approaches exist for cranial relapse after response to previous radiotherapy and systemic therapy. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors like erlotinib with its proven activity in non-small cell lung cancer may provide clinical benefits in such patients. Patients and Methods: Two case reports are presented illustrating the efficacy of erlotinib in patients with recurrent brain metastases and parallel thoracic progression. Results: Both patients showed lasting partial remissions in the brain and lung, and clinical symptom improvement. Conclusion: The observed survival times of above 18 and 15 months, respectively, since occurrence of cranial disease manifestation in line with the achieved progression-free survival times of 9 and 6 months by the erlotinib third-line therapy are remarkable. The use of targeted therapies after whole-brain irradiation should be investigated more systematically in prospective clinical trials.

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