Are personalized treatments for lung cancer underutilized?

23/04/2015 - 3 minutes

Results from a new global survey of lung cancer oncologists have shown that, despite 81% of newly diagnosed advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients being tested for Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor mutations (EGFR), a significant number of those tested were not receiving personalized treatments for their cancer type and mutation subtype. The survey, with results from 562 oncologists from 10 different countries, was presented at the 2015 European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The survey was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer. Specific changes in the tumour, known as EGFR mutations, are found in 10-15% of white and 40% of East Asian patients with NSCLC. There are different types of EGFR mutations, the most common being exon 19 deletions (Del19) and the exon 21 (L858R) substitution.

The survey highlighted that almost one in four advanced NSCLC patients were started on first-line treatment before their mutation test results were available, with significant differences between regions (from 12% in Asia to 30% in Europe).

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