Case Reports:

Change from lung adenocarcinoma to small cell lung cancer as a mechanism of resistance to afatinib

Paolo Manca, Marco Russano _, Francesco Pantano, Giuseppe Tonini and Daniele Santini

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:59986-59990. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17607

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Paolo Manca1, Marco Russano1, Francesco Pantano1, Giuseppe Tonini1 and Daniele Santini1

1 Department of Medical Oncology, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to:

Marco Russano, email:

Keywords: afatinib resistance, EGFR-TKI resistance, EGFR inhibitor resistance, small cell lung cancer switch, tumor switch

Received: March 20, 2017 Accepted:April 17, 2017 Published: May 04, 2017


We report the case of a patient affected by advanced EGFR mutation-positive lung who experienced resistance to therapy during treatment with Afatinib through the occurrence of a switch of tumor histotype to small cell lung cancer (SCLC) with features of a G3 neuroendocrine carcinoma. Unexpectedly, the switch to SCLC histotype occurred in the only site not responsive to afatinib and subsequently the most responsive to chemotherapy. Our case shows that occurrence of switch to SCLC is a possible mechanism of resistance during treatment with Afatinib.

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