Erlotinib is an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors used to treat EGFR mutation positive non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Skin rash and diarrhea are well-known and common adverse events in patients receiving erlotinib, whereas other adverse events, including eye, liver, or renal disorders have not been evaluated adequately. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the ocular, hepatobiliary, and renal toxicities of erlotinib in patients with NSCLC cancers.
In total, sixty studies were assessed, and the results of the included studies were quantitatively integrated using meta-analysis. The incidence of ocular, hepatobiliary (alanine aminotransferase [ALT] and bilirubin elevations; other hepatic adverse events), and renal adverse events were estimated. Additionally, the erlotinib-treated groups and the control groups (placebo or other treatment) were compared with respect to ocular disorders and ALT elevation. The study protocol has been registered in the International Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) CRD42018093758.
The overall incidence of ocular disorders was 3.30% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.20%-5.00%). The incidence of ALT elevation, bilirubin elevation, and other hepatobiliary disorders was 6.40% (95% CI 3.90%-10.4%), 3.80% (95% CI 2.30%-6.10%), and 1.00% (95% 0.60%-1.80%), respectively. The incidence of renal disorder was 3.10% (95% CI 1.90%-5.00%). The risk of ocular toxicity in the erlotinib treatment group was significantly increased (risk ratio = 2.91; 95% CI 1.70-4.98) compared to that in the control group. ALT elevation was not significantly different between the two groups.
Based on the results, careful monitoring of ocular toxicity in patients receiving erlotinib should be recommended and closer monitoring of hepatic toxicity should be also recommended in patients with liver-related risk factors.