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David S. Ettinger, MD, FACP, FCCP


ELCC 2022: How Prevalent Is Biomarker Testing in Patients With Advanced Lung Cancer?

By: Gavin Calabretta, BS
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2022

New biomarkers associated with certain targeted therapies for patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are increasingly more prominent in clinical guidelines, but despite these recommendations, it is still uncertain what percentage of patients in the real world undergo biomarker testing. Consequently, Virginia Calvo de Juan, MD, PhD, of the Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda, Madrid, and colleagues performed a registry analysis to assess biomarker testing across Spain. The results, which were presented at the European Lung Cancer Congress 2022 (Abstract 39P), showed a real-world increase in biomarker testing over the past 5 years.

“The overall survival of patients with lung cancer has increased by around 15% over the past decade, primarily because we now have new therapies, including targeted drugs. To use these therapies, we need to determine the molecular biomarkers on a patient’s tumor. Our study analyzed the rate of this molecular testing in real-world clinical practice,” explained the study authors.

The investigators sampled data from the Thoracic Tumors Registry, an observational and prospective registry–based study spanning 182 hospitals, which enrolled patients with lung cancer and other thoracic tumors from 2016 to date. The registry included data from 9,239 patients with stage IV NSCLC, of whom 7,467 had nonsquamous disease and 1,772 had squamous disease.

According to the study authors, tumor marker testing was performed in 85% of patients with nonsquamous tumors and in 56% of patients with squamous tumors. Across all patients, the testing rates of EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and PD-L1 were 78.9%, 64.7%, 35.6%, and 46.9%, respectively. However, only including the past 3 years, PD-L1 testing was in excess of 85%. Almost half the patient population (44.5%) had received a positive test result for EGFR, ALK, KRAS, BRAF, ROS1, or high PD-L1.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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