Author(s): Luo C, Lv M, Li Y, Liu P, Yang J
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Abstract The aim of this study was to explore the clinical characteristics of and treatment strategies for interstitial pneumonia induced by gefitinib in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The detailed clinical data of one patient with NSCLC and gefitinib-induced interstitial pneumonia were compiled and a review of relevant previous studies was performed. Based on this case report and the review, the clinical characteristics, mechanisms and treatment strategies of this rare disease were analyzed. The analyses showed that older, male patients with a long smoking history, high smoking index and adenocarcinoma (particularly bronchoalveolar carcinoma) were more likely to suffer from interstitial pneumonia while taking gefitinib. The onset time of interstitial pneumonia was 1-2 months subsequent to gefitinib administration. The clinical manifestations included chest tightness, shortness of breath, progressive dyspnea, severe hypoxemia and respiratory failure. Diffuse infiltration and alveolar interstitial shadows were observed on the chest tomography scan. In such circumstances, a timely judgment is required, in addition to the withdrawal of gefitinib treatment and the administration of high-dose glucocorticoids, as well as oxygen inhalation and anti-infective therapies, in order to relieve the symptoms. In conclusion, following the onset of gefitinib-induced interstitial pneumonia, the discontinuation of gefitinib is likely to alleviate the suffering of the majority of patients. Early interstitial pneumonia is not an absolute index for the permanent discontinuation of gefitinib treatment. It is necessary to comprehensively consider the benefits and hazards of gefitinib for the patients.
This article was published in Exp Ther Med
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine