Purpose: This study was undertaken to determine safety and tolerability of nimotuzumab, a humanized anti-epidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody, in combination with radiotherapy in stages IIB-IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who are unsuitable for radical therapy or chemotherapy. Methods: Nimotuzumab (100. mg, 200. mg and 400. mg) was administered weekly from week 1 to week 8 with palliative radiotherapy (30-36. Gy, 3. Gy/day). If tumor control was achieved, nimotuzumab was continued every 2 weeks until unacceptable toxicity or disease progression. Serial skin biopsies were collected for pharmacodynamic assessment. Results: Fifteen patients were enrolled in the study, with cohorts of five patients assigned in each dose level of nimotuzumab. Patients and disease characteristics included median age 73 years; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (PS) 0-1/2 (n=3/12); female sex (n=2); adenocarcinoma (n=5); never-smoker status (n=2); and stages IIB/IIIB/IV (n=1/8/6). All patients were unable to tolerate radical therapy because of old age or multiple comorbidities. The most commonly reported adverse events were lymphopenia and asthenia (grades 1-2 in most patients). No skin rash or allergic toxicities appeared. Dose-limiting toxicity occurred with pneumonia with grade 4 neutropenia at the 200. mg dose of nimotuzumab. Objective response rate and disease control rate inside the radiation field were 46.7% and 100.0%, respectively. Conclusions: Nimotuzumab in combination with radiotherapy is well-tolerated and feasible. Further clinical investigation of nimotuzumab in NSCLC patients is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research