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  • 1 Baranya County Hospital Pulmonology Ángyán J. u. 2 H-7635 Pécs Hungary
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In advanced cases of non-small cell lung cancer cytostatic treatment has small but assessable effect on patient survival as opposed to only symptomatic therapy. Cytostatic drugs, however, are known to have numerous side effects including neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity and myelosuppression. Better knowledge of tumor biology has led to the discovery of several key molecular pathways. Thanks to their beneficial effect and side effect profile EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (gefitinib, erlotinib) have now been included in clinical practice in the treatment of NSCLC. The predictive characteristics for the indication of these drugs have not yet been cleared up and require further clinical studies. Under EAP (Expanded Access Program) it has become possible to give patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (stages III/B and IV) EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib. We are to present two cases of our patients here to illustrate the beneficial effect of the drug when used as second or third line therapy. A more detailed study of the histological specimen (EGFR expression as well as EGFR gene mutation) will provide further information as to the anticipated efficacy of erlotinib.

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