Oncology 2016 18;90(3):176-7. Epub 2016 Feb 18.
Pulmonology Department, University Hospital of Angers, Angers, France.
Erlotinib maintenance treatment improves progression-free survival compared with observation after first-line chemotherapy in unselected advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Very few cardiac adverse effects have been observed in phase III studies on tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). We report the case of a 71-year-old woman with metastatic NSCLC treated with cisplatin/pemetrexed and then erlotinib maintenance therapy. After 26 months of TKI therapy, she developed dilated cardiomyopathy. Despite symptomatic treatment, left ventricular ejection fraction decreased to 25%. Ischemic heart disease was excluded by coronary angiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and no other cause was found. Erlotinib was stopped, and cardiac resynchronization therapy by pacemaker was initiated. This case report highlights the possible cardiotoxic effects of long-term erlotinib and suggests the need for close clinical and echocardiographic follow-up of patients receiving long-term TKI therapy.