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Clinical Cancer Drugs


ISSN (Print): 2212-697X
ISSN (Online): 2212-6988

Review Article

Erlotinib in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: From a thought to Necessity

Author(s): Parijat Pandey and Harish Dureja*

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2018

Page: [87 - 93] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/2212697X06666190102110412


Background: Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, which is the leading cause of death worldwide with the majority of patients presenting with advanced disease at the time of diagnosis.

Objective: In this review, the emergence of erlotinib as a seed for the treatment of NSCLC has been discussed and how it is gaining limelight as one of the most suitable drugs for this indication. The approval status in different regions and recommendation data from Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies like National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE), UK and Wales and Scottish Medical Consortium (SMC), Scotland have also been collected in this study.

Method: For carrying out the review, literature was searched on various databases including PubMed,, various HTA databases, EMBASE, Google Scholar, United States Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA) and various other online databases. Information from these sources was compared and analyzed as per the requirement of the objective.

Results: From the literature obtained after searching various databases, it was observed that Erlotinib (Tarceva) is one of the drugs which acts on EGFR and was approved (2004) from USFDA for treating locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC, as second or third line treatment after the failure of chemotherapy regimen. Different Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies have also assessed erlotinib for various indications and have given guidance for its use.

Conclusion: On the basis of available literature and data on clinical studies, it can be concluded that erlotinib can be the better option for treatment of NSCLC and effective against different lines of treatment and in maintenance as well.

Keywords: Erlotinib, non-small cell lung cancer, clinical trials, health technology assessment agencies, epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR.

Graphical Abstract

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