Afatinib as second-line treatment in patients with recurrent/metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: Subgroup analyses of treatment adherence, safety and mode of afatinib administration in the LUX-Head and Neck 1 trial

Robert Haddad, Joel Guigay, Ulrich Keilholz, Paul M. Clement, Jérôme Fayette, Luciano de Souza Viana, Frédéric Rolland, Didier Cupissol, Lionnel Geoffrois, Gabriela Kornek, Lisa Licitra, Bohuslav Melichar, Ulisses Ribaldo Nicolau, Daniel Rauch, Sylvie Zanetta-Devauges, Ezra E.W. Cohen, Jean Pascal Machiels, Makoto Tahara, Jan Vermorken, Yuan GengEleftherios Zografos, Thomas Gauler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) can experience severe symptom burden and/or difficulty swallowing, leading to problems with treatment adherence/administration. In LUX-Head and Neck 1 (LH&N1; NCT01345682), second-line afatinib improved progression-free survival (PFS) versus methotrexate in patients with recurrent/metastatic HNSCC. We report adherence and safety across pre-specified and additional subgroups potentially linked to afatinib PFS benefit in LH&N1 (p16 status, smoking history), and afatinib adherence, safety and efficacy by administration (oral versus feeding tube; post-hoc analysis). Methods: Patients were randomized (2:1) to afatinib (40 mg/day) or intravenous methotrexate (40 mg/m2/week). Results: Among 320 afatinib-treated and 160 methotrexate-treated patients, 83–92% and 76–92% (of patients with data available) across all subgroups took ≥80% of treatment. Across p16 status and smoking history subgroups, the most common treatment-related adverse events (AEs) were diarrhea (70–91%), rash/acne (72–84%), stomatitis (34–73%) with afatinib; and included stomatitis (39–100%), fatigue (22–50%), nausea (19–36%) with methotrexate. Dose reduction decreased AE incidence/severity. Baseline characteristics were generally similar between oral/feeding tube (n = 276/n = 46) groups. 89%/89% (of patients with data available) took ≥80% of assigned afatinib. Median PFS was 2.6 versus 2.7 months (hazard ratio: 0.997; 95% confidence interval: 0.72–1.38). The most common afatinib-related AEs were: rash/acne (74% versus 74%), diarrhea (73% versus 65%), stomatitis (40% versus 30%). Conclusion: Subgroup analyses of LH&N1 demonstrate that afatinib has predictable and manageable safety across patient subgroups, with high treatment adherence, and is effective via oral and feeding tube administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalOral Oncology
Volume97
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Adherence
  • Afatinib
  • Feeding tube
  • HNSCC
  • Methotrexate
  • Recurrent/metastatic
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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