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Afatinib Therapy: Practical Management of Adverse Events With an Oral Agent for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment

Rebecca L. Edwards
Christine Andan
Rajesh V. Lalla
Mario E. Lacouture
Dennis O’Brien
Lecia V. Sequist
CJON 2018, 22(5), 542-548 DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.542-548

Background: Afatinib is an oral, irreversible ErbB family blocker indicated for first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with non-resistant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. Afatinib is also approved for the treatment of metastatic squamous NSCLC following progression on platinum-based chemotherapy. Common afatinib-associated toxicities include gastrointestinal and dermatologic events, which can be dose limiting.

Objectives: In this review, the authors describe clinical trial experiences with afatinib, as well as best practices and practical approaches to the management of afatinib-associated adverse events in EGFR mutation–positive NSCLC.

Methods: Safety and tolerability data from phase 3 trials of afatinib were reviewed, together with real-life experiences from the authors’ clinical practices.

Findings: Patient education, combined with early assessment and effective management of afatinib-related adverse events as well as dose- reduction strategies, allows patients to continue treatment and maximize the clinical benefits of afatinib.

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