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