Background Crizotinib is a cytostatic oral ALK inhibitor, a newly-introduced oral cytostatic to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has been accessible through an expanded use programme prior to marketing authorization.
Purpose To analyse the effectiveness and safety of crizotinib treatment in patients with NSCLC in a tertiary hospital.
Materials and Methods A retrospective descriptive study of patients taking crizotinib from August 2011 to July 2012. The following information was collected: demographic (gender and age), background (smoker/non-smoker), basal situation (Performance Status (PS), ALK-positive or negative), diagnosis and staging, dose of crizotinib, results (progress and current status) and adverse reactions. The average length of survival was determined using SPSS 20. The information sources were the electronic health records.
Results 4 patients were recruited. 3 (75%) were women. The mean age was 47. All the patients were non-smokers. Initial situation: 3 patients had a PS of 1 and the other one had 2. All of them were ALK-positive and were diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC. 2 patients received crizotinib 250 mg/12 h and the other 2 200 mg/12 h. Evolution: in 2 (50%) patients the tumour mass in the lungs did not change. In 1 (25%) the lung tumour shrank slightly. To sum up: 3 (75%) patients presented stable disease and 1 died. Adverse reactions: 3 (75%) patients had gastrointestinal reactions (diarrhoea and mucositis), 2 (50%) patients presented asthenia and 1 (25%) visual disturbances. Lastly, the average length of survival was 6 months (IC95%, 2.33–9.66).
Conclusions Due to the low number of patients recruited the effectiveness of the treatment cannot be demonstrated. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that the disease stabilised in 3 out of 4 patients. Gastrointestinal problems were the most frequent adverse reactions. It is important to detect ophthalmological adverse reactions in time to begin patient tracking. This treatment is well tolerated in patients with a bad prognosis and few treatment options.
No conflict of interest.
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