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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

  • Haddad, Robert;
  • Guigay, Joel;
  • Keilholz, Ulrich;
  • Clement, Paul M; 41136;
  • Fayette, Jerome;
  • Viana, Luciano de Souza;
  • Rolland, Frederic;
  • Cupissol, Didier;
  • Geoffrois, Lionnel;
  • Kornek, Gabriela;
  • Licitra, Lisa;
  • Melichar, Bohuslav;
  • Nicolau, Ulisses Ribaldo;
  • Rauch, Daniel;
  • Zanetta-Devauges, Sylvie;
  • Cohen, Ezra EW;
  • Machiels, Jean-Pascal;
  • Tahara, Makoto;
  • Vermorken, Jan;
  • Geng, Yuan;
  • And 2 more
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2019
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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. / status: published

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