RIDGEFIELD, Conn., April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the majority of newly diagnosed advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients being tested for genetic mutations, a gap still exists for providing a personalized treatment plan for patients based on their cancer type and mutation subtype, according to a new international survey. About 60 percent of surveyed U.S. oncologists do not determine their treatment decisions based on EGFR mutation subtype, compared with 50 percent in Canada and 23 percent in Asia. The survey, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, was recently presented as a late-breaking abstract in the ESMO-IASLC Best Abstracts session at the 2015 European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
"It is extremely important for each person diagnosed with lung cancer to receive the most appropriate treatment based on his or her particular cancer," said Jennifer King, Director of Science and Research for Lung Cancer Alliance. "For some patients, this will mean receiving genetic testing at the time of diagnosis to allow doctors to develop a personalized treatment plan."
The survey showed that 26 percent of U.S. physicians decided on therapy for their patients with advanced NSCLC before their mutation test results were available, compared to 30 percent in Europe and 12 percent in Asia.
According to the surveyed doctors, the main reasons for not conducting genetic tests, aside from tumor histology, were insufficient tissue/uncertainty of sufficient tissue, poor performance status and test results taking too long to come back.
International guidelines, which are endorsed specifically in the U.S., recommend EGFR mutation testing should be performed at diagnosis of NSCLC and results should guide treatment decisions to ensure all patients receive appropriate therapy according to their specific cancer type. According to the survey, almost two-thirds of physicians across all 10 countries chose prolonging survival as the most important treatment goal in deciding first-line therapy in advanced NSCLC.
According to the survey, 77 percent of U.S. and European oncologists order EGFR mutation tests before starting first-line therapy, but Asian oncologists order tests more frequently at 92 percent. In the Asian community, lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death. Among Asian patients diagnosed with NSCLC, approximately 50 percent have EGFR mutations compared to 10 to 15 percent of Caucasians. There are different types of EGFR mutations, the most common being exon 19 deletions (Del19) and the exon 21 (L858R) substitution.
"When a lung cancer diagnosis is made, it's important to receive a biomarker test to determine whether particular mutations like EGFR are present," said Edward Kim, M.D., with the Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC. "EGFR mutation status is a critical prognostic factor that many doctors use when determining the most appropriate treatment options for patients. One would not start a patient with breast cancer on treatment without knowing hormone receptor or HER-2 status. We must be diligent in testing appropriate patients for mutation status to offer the appropriate therapy."
About the survey
In a quest to better understand advanced NSCLC diagnosis, mutation testing and treatment practices, a global online survey of 562 physicians was conducted in 10 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, UK and U.S.). The survey, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and conducted by Kantar Health, took place between December 2014 and January 2015. The survey included 14 questions and assessed the prevalence of EGFR mutation testing, barriers to testing and how test results affect treatment decisions.
An earlier survey revealed the growing role of pulmonologists and pathologists in biomarker testing in lung cancer and opportunities to improve how soon tests are requested and how quickly results are used to inform treatment decisions.
As a company committed to improving the lives of patients with lung cancer, Boehringer Ingelheim continues to work with the cancer community to break through barriers to conducting and applying insights from biomarker testing in the treatment of NSCLC. This ongoing commitment has the potential to make a positive difference in the lives of patients with lung cancer.
About Boehringer Ingelheim in Oncology
Building on scientific expertise and excellence in the fields of pulmonary and cardiovascular medicine, metabolic disease, neurology, virology and immunology, Boehringer Ingelheim has embarked on a major research program to discover and develop innovative cancer treatments. Working in close collaboration with the international scientific community and a number of the world's leading cancer centers, Boehringer Ingelheim's commitment to oncology is underpinned by using advances in science to develop a range of targeted therapies for various solid tumors and hematological cancers. The current focus of late-stage research includes compounds in three areas: signal transduction inhibition, angiogenesis inhibition and cell-cycle kinase inhibition. The company is also evaluating a robust and growing pipeline of early-stage oncology compounds in areas including growth/survival signaling, immunotherapy and epigenetics.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates and more than 47,400 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
Social responsibility is a central element of Boehringer Ingelheim's culture. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim's endeavors.
For more information, please visit us.boehringer-ingelheim.com.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Name: Paul Wynn
Email: [email protected]
SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.