Tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the elderly

Wolfgang Hohenforst-Schmidt, Paul Zarogoulidis, Michael Steinheimer, Naim Benhassen, Theodora Tsiouda, Sofia Baka, Lonny Yarmus, Grigoris Stratakos, John Organtzis, Athanasia Pataka, Kosmas Tsakiridis, Ilias Karapantzos, Chrysanthi Karapantzou, Kaid Darwiche, Athanasios Zissimopoulos, Georgia Pitsiou, Konstantinos Zarogoulidis, Yan Gao Man, Harald Rittger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Until few years ago non-specific cytotoxic agents were considered the tip of the arrow as first line treatment for lung cancer. However; age > 75 was considered a major drawback for this kind of therapy. Few exceptions were made by doctors based on the performance status of the patient. The side effects of these agents are still severe for several patients. In the recent years further investigation of the cancer genome has led to targeted therapies. There have been numerous publications regarding novel agents such as; erlotinib, gefitinib and afatinib. In specific populations these agents have demonstrated higher efficiency and this observation is explained by the overexpression of the EGFR pathway in these populations. We suggest that TKIs should administered in the elderly, and with the word elderly we propose the age of 75. The treating medical doctor has to evaluate the performance status of a patient and decide the best treatment in several cases indifferent of the age. TKIs in most studies presented safety and efficiency and of course dose modification should be made when necessary. Comorbidities should be considered in any case especially in this group of patients and the treating physician should act accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-693
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016


  • Afatinib
  • Elderly
  • Erlotinib
  • Gefitinib
  • Targeted therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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