Sunitinib plus erlotinib versus placebo plus erlotinib in patients with previously treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: a phase III trial

Journal of Clinical Oncology, 05/09/2012

Scagliotti GV et al. – In patients with refractory NSCLC, sunitinib plus erlotinib did not improve OS compared with erlotinib alone, but the combination was associated with a statistically significantly longer PFS and greater ORR. The incidence of grade 3 or higher toxicities was greater with combination therapy.


  • Patients previously treated with one to two chemotherapy regimens (including one platinum-based regimen) for recurrent NSCLC, and for whom erlotinib was indicated, were randomly assigned (1:1) to sunitinib 37.5 mg/d plus erlotinib 150 mg/d or to placebo plus erlotinib 150 mg/d, stratified by prior bevacizumab use, smoking history, and epidermal growth factor receptor expression.
  • The primary end point was OS. Key secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR), and safety.


  • In all, 960 patients were randomly assigned, and baseline characteristics were balanced. Median OS was 9.0 months for sunitinib plus erlotinib versus 8.5 months for erlotinib alone (hazard ratio [HR], 0.922; 95% CI, 0.797 to 1.067; one-sided stratified log-rank P = .1388).
  • Median PFS was 3.6 months versus 2.0 months (HR, 0.807; 95% CI, 0.695 to 0.937; one-sided stratified log-rank P = .0023), and ORR was 10.6% versus 6.9% (two-sided stratified log-rank P = .0471), respectively.
  • Treatment-related toxicities of grade 3 or higher, including rash/dermatitis, diarrhea, and asthenia/fatigue were more frequent in the sunitinib plus erlotinib arm.

Print Article Summary Cat 2 CME Report