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Long-lasting response to afatinib that persisted after treatment discontinuation in a case of EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma
  1. Yumie Yamanaka1,
  2. Yoshitaka Seki1,
  3. Takeo Ishikawa1 and
  4. Kazuyoshi Kuwano2
  1. 1 Division of Respirology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Jikei Daisan Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2 Division of Respirology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Jikei University Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yoshitaka Seki, ms97-seki{at}


It is unknown whether tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can be discontinued in patients in whom EGFR-mutated lung cancer has well stabilised. We present a case of a 73-year-old Japanese woman with no history of smoking. Right pulmonary lower lobectomy, lymph node dissection and segmental resection of the right middle lobe were performed. Additionally, she underwent adjuvant chemotherapy for stage IIIB adenocarcinoma harbouring an EGFR exon 19 deletion. Afatinib was administered for liver metastases after 15 months. A complete response of metastatic disease was achieved for 2 years. However, afatinib was unavoidably discontinued due to splenectomy for the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Although afatinib was not resumed, due to the abscess formation as surgery complication, a drug-free complete response was sustained for over 18 months. The present case suggests that exceptional and durable responses to afatinib can be achieved in individual cases.

  • lung cancer (oncology)
  • oncology
  • chemotherapy

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  • Contributors YY created a large part of the article. YS designed this report, supervised the draft of the manuscript and assisted in the preparation of the manuscript. TI and KK proofread the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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