Lung cancer patients can benefit from genetic testing

Dr. Barbara Melosky Chair of the Canadian Lung Cancer Conference, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Medical Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency (CNW Group/Canadian Lung Cancer Conference ) (CNW Group/Canadian Lung Cancer Conference )

VANCOUVER, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Research shows the genetic make-up of a tumour can have a big impact on how a patient will respond to different treatment options.

In the most common type of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), clinical trials have shown that people whose tumours exhibit the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutation often respond better to certain targeted therapies, which can lead to better outcomes.

Approximately 10-20 per cent of all lung cancer cases have the EGFR gene mutation.i

Research also indicates that 45 per cent of Asians with NSCLC have the EGFR gene mutation,ii making genetic mutation testing in lung cancer even more relevant in BC where 12 per cent of the population is of East Asian descent.iii

East Asian, non-smoking women are at particular risk.  One study showed 80 per cent of never-smoking Asian women with non-small cell lung cancer had EGFR gene mutations.iv 

The BC Cancer Agency is at the forefront of lung cancer genetic testing. EGFR testing is a standard of care that is offered at the BC Cancer Agency for patients that fit the criteria.

Experts are gathering at the annual Canadian Lung Cancer Conference from February 7-8 in Vancouver to discuss EGFR mutation testing in lung cancer, among other issues that could improve patient outcomes.

Quotes: 

Dr. Barbara Melosky, Chair of the Canadian Lung Cancer Conference, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Medical Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency

"Although lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer, with proper testing you can treat it quite effectively.

The good news is the Canadian oncology community is working hard to determine how we can test lung cancer patients at diagnosis across the country, so we can make informed treatment decisions, like whether or not a targeted treatment is an option for a better outcome."

Facts about Lung Cancer in British Columbia

  • More Canadians are estimated to die this year from lung cancer than from colorectal, breast and prostate cancer combined.v
  • In BC alone, it was estimated that 3,050 people would be diagnosed with lung cancervi and 2,400 people would die from it in 2012.vii
  • Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in Canadaviii and B.C.ix

About the 2013 Canadian Lung Cancer Conference
The Canadian Lung Cancer Conference is a multi-disciplinary meeting of Canada's leading oncology professionals and residents to explore the exciting advances in the treatment, diagnosis and staging of lung cancer. The conference includes a wide variety of professionals including Medical Oncology, Respiratory Medicine, Radiation Oncology and Thoracic Surgery as well as Oncology Nursing.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.ca.

i Pao W, Miller VA. Epidermal growth factor receptor mutations, small-molecule kinase inhibitors, and non-small-cell lung cancer: current knowledge and future directions. J Clin Oncol 2005;23:2556-2568
ii Peter M. Ellis. Late Breaking Abstract Supplement, available at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer.Poster Session 4 - Pathology Thursday, 7 July 2011 10:00-12:30  P4.199 IMPLEMENTATION OF A NATIONAL EGFR TESTING STRATEGY IN A PUBLICLY FUNDED HEALTH SYSTEM
iii Stats Can, 2006 Census Data. "2006 Community Profiles" <http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/prof/92-591/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=PR&Code1=59&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&Data=Count&SearchText=British%20Columbia&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&Custom=> Accessed on December 28, 2012.
iv Lynette M. Sholl. Lung Adenocarcinoma with EGFR Amplification Has Distinct Clinicopathologic and Molecular Features in Never-Smokers. Published OnlineFirst October 13, 2009; doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-2477 Cancer Res November 1, 2009 69; 8341
v Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2012. Page 9.
vi Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2012. Page pg.16
vii Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2012. Page 18.
viii Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2012. Page 9.
ix Canadian Cancer Society's Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2012. Page 18.


 

Image with caption: "Dr. Barbara Melosky Chair of the Canadian Lung Cancer Conference, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, Medical Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency (CNW Group/Canadian Lung Cancer Conference ) (CNW Group/Canadian Lung Cancer Conference )". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130205_C3024_PHOTO_EN_23316.jpg

SOURCE: Canadian Lung Cancer Conference

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