WASHINGTON, DC (September 21, 2018) — LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, announced today that they will be presenting findings from two studies conducted by LUNGevity’s Patient-Focused Research Center (Patient FoRCe) related to biomarker testing at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 2018 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Toronto later this month. These studies are two of the four that were accepted from LUNGevity to be shared at this year’s conference.
LUNGevity is a strong advocate for patient access to precision medicine—bringing the right therapy to the right patient at the right time. LUNGevity encourages every patient with non-small cell lung cancer to ask their doctor about the benefits of comprehensive biomarker testing and is working to ensure that every patient has access to these tests. Despite the fact that there are 18 biomarker-driven lung cancer treatments approved by the FDA, many patients’ tumors are still not tested for the presence of biomarkers that would indicate the likelihood of benefit to the patients of using these treatments.
The first study focused on the attitudes of healthcare providers about prescribing additional biopsies when a patient’s therapy stops working (re-biopsying the patient). This is a follow-on study to one that LUNGevity conducted and presented at the 2016 World Conference on Lung Cancer in Vienna focused on the patient attitude toward re-biopsy. The study among healthcare providers found that re-biopsy practices vary by practice settings and volume of advanced-stage lung cancer patients. Furthermore, a comprehensive biomarker profile may not always be obtained at re-biopsy, which could lead to suboptimal treatment options for a patient.
The second study was an audit of the diverse communications and messages that patients are receiving about biomarker testing. The inconsistencies in marketing and education materials lead to confusion in the patient population about what to ask for from their doctors. The study highlights the importance of consistent and actionable messages for lung cancer patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) so that the importance of biomarker testing is appropriately conveyed. When results of the audit were presented to a stakeholder group consisting of patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, and diagnostic companies, participants agreed that all materials should at least answer important questions on biomarker testing, such as Why is biomarker testing important?, Who should get tested?, and When should patients get tested?
Detailed results of both studies will be presented in Toronto on September 24. The re-biopsy study will be presented as an oral presentation in the session “Towards Survivorship: The Landscape, Support, and Barriers,” while the messaging study will be presented as a poster.
“Both studies are part of LUNGevity’s ongoing work to ensure that all people diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer have access to timely, high-quality, comprehensive biomarker testing,” said Andrea Ferris, president and CEO of LUNGevity Foundation. “Precision medicine holds great promise for lung cancer patients, but you need to know your tumor profile before you can benefit from these treatments.”
LUNGevity’s Patient FoRCe is the organization’s in-house research institute that brings evidence-based research and scientific rigor to understanding the lived experience of people diagnosed with lung cancer. Patient FoRCE conducts, analyzes, and disseminates studies examining the perspective and voice of the patient in order to impact policy as it is developed, research as it is conducted, and treatment as decisions are made, ensuring patient centricity.
“Dissemination is important for all Patient FoRCe studies,” Dr. Upal Basu Roy, director of Patient FoRCe, said. “This ensures that relevant stakeholders—patients, caregivers, clinicians, regulators, and industry partners—are made aware of study findings and implications, with the ultimate goal of driving practice change.”
About LUNGevity Foundation
LUNGevity is the nation's leading lung cancer organization investing in lifesaving, translational research and providing support services and education for patients and caregivers. LUNGevity’s goals are three-fold: (1) accelerate research to patients, (2) empower patients to be active participants in their treatment decisions, and (3) remove barriers that patients face in accessing the right treatments.
LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. LUNGevity’s comprehensive resources include a medically vetted website, a toll-free HELPLine in partnership with CancerCare®, a unique Lung Cancer Navigator app, peer-to-peer mentoring for patients and caregivers (LUNGevity LifeLine), and survivorship conferences. LUNGevity also helps patients find and navigate clinical trials through our Clinical Trial Finder tool, a Clinical Trial Ambassador program, and participation with EmergingMed.
Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, a four-star Charity Navigator organization, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.
About Lung Cancer in the U.S.
- About 1 in 16 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
- More than 234,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
- About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
- Lung cancer takes more lives than the next three leading cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) combined
- Only 19% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance of 5-year survival improves dramatically