Overall survival in EGFR mutated non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with afatinib after EGFR TKI and resistant mechanisms upon disease progression

Purpose

To determine survival in afatinib-treated patients after treatment with first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and to study resistance mechanisms in afatinib-resistant tumors.

Methods

Characteristics and survival of patients treated with afatinib after resistance to erlotinib or gefitinib in two large Dutch centers were collected. Whole exome sequencing (WES) and pathway analysis was performed on available pre- and post-afatinib tumor biopsies and normal tissue.

Results

A total of 38 patients were treated with afatinib. T790M mutations were identified in 22/29 (76%) pre-afatinib treatment tumor samples. No difference in median progression-free-survival (2.8 months (95% CI 2.3–3.3) and 2.7 months (95% CI 0.9–4.6), p = 0.55) and median overall-survival (8.8 months (95% CI 4.2–13.4) and 3.6 months (95% CI 2.3–5.0), p = 0.14) were observed in T790M+ patients compared to T790M- mutations.

Somatic mutations in TP53, ADAMTS2, CNN2 and multiple genes in the Wnt and PI3K-AKT pathway were observed in post-afatinib tumors of six afatinib-responding and in one non-responding patient. No new EGFR mutations were found in the post-afatinib samples of the six responding patients. Further analyses of post-afatinib progressive tumors revealed 28 resistant specific mutations in six genes (HLA-DRB1, AQP7, FAM198A, SEC31A, CNTLN, and ESX1) in three afatinib responding patients. No known EGFR-TKI resistant-associated copy number gains were acquired in the post-afatinib samples.

Conclusion

No differences in survival were observed in patients with EGFR-T790M treated with afatinib compared to those without T790M. Tumors from patients who had progressive disease during afatinib treatment were enriched for mutations in genes involved in Wnt and PI3K-AKT pathways.