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Precision Medicine in Lung Cancer—We Need Your Insight!

The treatment landscape for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has rapidly evolved over the last decade with the approval of several molecularly-targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Yet, despite the growing role of biomarkers in influencing treatment decisions, patients, especially the underserved, still face many barriers to accessing the benefits of precision medicine.

Realizing the tremendous need to better understand the current capacity for—and barriers to—the delivery of precision medicine to all patients with lung cancer, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is conducting a nationwide survey. Survey findings will provide baseline information to guide the development of specific interventions to eliminate precision medicine practice gaps and help healthcare providers ensure that all patients are receiving equal access to biomarker testing followed by appropriate targeted therapies.

Please contribute to this much-needed initiative by completing our survey by Thursday, July 16. Your progress in the survey will be saved and you can return at a later point to complete your answers. Please use the same link and browser to access the survey again.

All survey completers will have the option to enter into a raffle for one of three $100 Amazon gift cards.

If you have any questions or need support to complete the survey, please email Leigh Boehmer, PharmD, BCOP, ACCC Medical Director.

Identification of actionable biomarkers continues to drive application of precision medicine in oncology. For patients with lung cancer, molecularly targeted therapies based on expression of specific biomarkers may be potential treatment options. Only through biomarker testing can clinicians discover whether lung cancers have targetable biomarkers.  

Despite increasing evidence supporting the role of biomarkers in treatment decision-making for patients with lung cancer, recent studies1-3 report that more than 70 percent of patients treated in the community do not receive biomarker testing as recommended by National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) clinical practice guidelines, and more than 50 percent of patients do not receive appropriate precision medicine therapies based on the test results.2 Among underserved patient populations, the gap is even wider.4,5  Analysis of CMS claims data has revealed that Medicaid patients are 40 percent less likely to get tested than patients with private health insurance and Medicaid patients are 30 percent less likely to receive targeted therapies after testing, compared to patients with private health insurance.4
The ACCC Eliminating Precision Medicine Disparities project is focused on understanding specific barriers and challenges to equal access to precision medicine among underserved patient communities. Through this project, ACCC seeks to:

  • Evaluate patient and provider perceptions of equity in access to biomarker testing and gaps in access to appropriate precision medicine therapies based on identification of actionable biomarkers.
  • Gather feedback from patients and healthcare providers regarding specific barriers and challenges in obtaining biomarker testing and access to precision therapies.
  • Develop interventions for both patients and providers to promote biomarkers testing for patients with lung cancer in underserved communities.

The project will be guided by an expert multidisciplinary Advisory Committee. ACCC is pleased to partner with LUNGevity for the patient-facing components of this education intervention.

1. Gutierrez ME, Choi K, Lanman RB, et al. Genomic profiling of advanced non-small cell lung cancer in community settings: gaps and opportunities. Clin Lung Cancer. 2017;18(6):651-659.
2. Mason C, Ellis PG, Lokay K, et al. Patterns of biomarker testing rates and appropriate use of targeted therapy in the first-line, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer treatment Setting. J Clin Pathw. 2018;(1):49–54.
3. Audibert CM, Shea MB, Glass DJ, et al. Trends in the molecular diagnosis of lung cancer: results from an online market research survey. Washington, DC: Friends of Cancer Research; 2018.
4. Palazzo LL, Sheehan DF, Tramontano AC, et al. Disparities and trends in genetic testing and erlotinib treatment among metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev. 2019;28(5):926-934.
5. Wong W, Wu N, et al. ALK testing trends and patterns among community practices in the United States. JCO Precis Oncol. 2018;2:1-11.


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