Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Quality Care 2019: Clinical Trial Enrollment and Survival in Metastatic Lung Cancer

By: Susan Reckling
Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

For a cohort of patients with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated at a single large academic center, clinical trial participation was associated with longer overall survival than not enrolling in a clinical trial, according to research conducted at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. In addition, patients who were enrolled in a clinical trial had a 47% lower risk of death, reported Cristina Merkhofer, MD, MHS, of the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson, and colleagues. These study findings will be presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium in San Diego (Abstract 137).

“Besides supporting drug development, clinical trial participation may directly benefit NSCLC patients by providing access to promising agents and/or enhanced supportive care,” the investigators concluded.

This retrospective study focused on 371 patients who received treatment at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and met eligibility criteria for clinical trial participation; 118 of these patients enrolled in at least one clinical trial. Most of the patients (89%) participated in phase I/II trials, and 15% participated in phase III trials. The majority of study patients (94%) had nonsquamous histology.

The researchers reported that the median survival in clinical trial enrollees was 838 days, whereas for those not enrolled in a clinical trial, it was 454 days. After the investigators adjusted for sex, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score, smoking, histology, EGFR and ALK status, and presence of brain metastases, clinical trial enrollees had a 47% lower risk of death relative to those not enrolled in a clinical trial.

This research is part of a larger study to investigate areas of uncertainty surrounding clinical trial participation. In upcoming subgroup analyses, the authors plan to evaluate whether specific trial design characteristics are associated with a survival benefit.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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