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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 31-37

Management of CNS metastases in patients with EGFR mutation-positive NSCLC

1 Department of Medical Oncology, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Medical Oncologist, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Vijith Shetty
Department of Medical Oncology, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_455_19

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Central nervous system (CNS) metastases are a frequent and severe complication associated with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The first- and second-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have shown considerable efficacy in EGFR-mutated NSCLC. However, their limited potential to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) renders them less effective in the management of CNS metastases in NSCLC. Osimertinib, a third-generation irreversible EGFR-TKI with good potential to cross the BBB, has shown significant clinical activity and acceptable safety profile in patients with EGFR-positive NSCLC brain and leptomeningeal metastases. The progression-free survival (PFS) of up to 15.2 months in CNS metastases patients in the FLAURA trial and the CNS objective response rates (ORRs) of 54% and 43% in the AURA/AURA2 and BLOOM trials, respectively, have established the role of osimertinib in patients with NSCLC with CNS metastases. The AURA3 trial also reported a PFS of 8.5 months and overall ORR of 71%. These data have supported osimertinib to be recognized as a “preferred” first-line treatment for EGFR-positive metastatic NSCLC by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). With limited treatment options available, upfront administration of osimertinib in patients with NSCLC irrespective of EGFR T790M and CNS metastases may improve the overall response rate and potentially reduce the adverse effects of radiotherapy. Our review focuses on the management of EGFR-mutated NSCLC CNS metastases in the context of recent NCCN guidelines.


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