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April 7, 2004

Predictors of Clinical Response of Non–Small Cell Cancer to Gefitinib

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(13):1563. doi:10.1001/jama.291.13.1563-a

To the Editor: Dr Kris and colleagues1 reported that gefitinib improved both symptoms and radiological responses in patients with non–small cell lung cancer who had previously undergone standard chemotherapy.

Although the authors reported that female sex and adenocarcinoma histology were predictive of favorable response to gefitinib, they apparently did not assess response to previous chemotherapy. It would be of interest to know if this is predictive of a positive outcome. For instance, Shepherd et al2 reported that of 6 patients who responded to docetaxel, 3 had had a positive response to standard chemotherapy treatment and the other 3 had achieved stable disease; no patient who responded to docetaxel had progressed while receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.2

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