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EGFR Testing Scenario Across 111 Centres in India: A Questionnaire-Based Survey

In Journal of Clinical Oncology
By: Prabhash K.
Contributor(s): Parikh PM | Rajappa SJ | Noronha V | Joshi A | Aggarwal S.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: 2017Description: .Subject(s): Lung Cancer | EGFR Mutation | Biomarker Testing In: Journal of Clinical OncologySummary: Background: Lung cancer diagnosis now involves routine use of biomarker testing to identify the driver mutations. We conducted a survey of 111 medical oncologists across India to understand the current pattern of EGFR mutation testing at their respective centres. Methods: Medical oncologists from 111 institutes across India were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire. They were divided into two groups - Group 1 with in-house EGFR testing and Group 2 who send samples to central/commercial labs. Answers of the two groups were analysed to see the prevailing patterns of EGFR mutation testing and differences between the groups if any. Results: In India, 95% of medical oncologists recommend testing for EGFR mutations in patients with adenocarcinoma histology. 40% would also recommend testing in squamous histology. 80% of medical oncologists request for biomarker testing at the time of primary biopsy. From the time of biopsy, the average time duration to get EGFR test results is 18 days. In centres with in-house testing (Group 1), results are available in 10 days. 96% of the medical oncologists from Group 1 centres request for factoring additional sample for biomarker testing compared to only 69% from Group 2. 69% of medical oncologists in Group 1 centres would prefer to wait for the test results before initiating treatment compared to 46% in Group 2. EGFR TKIs are used in 60% of patients with diagnosed EGFR mutation in the first line. For patients in whom chemotherapy is initiated while waiting for test results, 50% of medical oncologists prefer completing 4-6 cycles before switching to targeted therapy. At the time of progression, rebiopsy is possible in 25% of the patients. Rapid disease progression and poor PS were the two most common reasons given for the low rebiopsy rates. Conclusions: Application of molecular testing is ‎improving. Yield can be improved by training of multidisciplinary team involved in tumor biopsy. There is scope and need to reduce the turnaround time. This will reduce the current scenario of commencing chemotherapy while waiting for test results. Increasing application of liquid biopsy will help in initial diagnosis as well as at relapse, especially for patients with poor PS or difficult access to tumor site.
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Background: Lung cancer diagnosis now involves routine use of biomarker testing to identify the driver mutations. We conducted a survey of 111 medical oncologists across India to understand the current pattern of EGFR mutation testing at their respective centres. Methods: Medical oncologists from 111 institutes across India were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire. They were divided into two groups - Group 1 with in-house EGFR testing and Group 2 who send samples to central/commercial labs. Answers of the two groups were analysed to see the prevailing patterns of EGFR mutation testing and differences between the groups if any. Results: In India, 95% of medical oncologists recommend testing for EGFR mutations in patients with adenocarcinoma histology. 40% would also recommend testing in squamous histology. 80% of medical oncologists request for biomarker testing at the time of primary biopsy. From the time of biopsy, the average time duration to get EGFR test results is 18 days. In centres with in-house testing (Group 1), results are available in 10 days. 96% of the medical oncologists from Group 1 centres request for factoring additional sample for biomarker testing compared to only 69% from Group 2. 69% of medical oncologists in Group 1 centres would prefer to wait for the test results before initiating treatment compared to 46% in Group 2. EGFR TKIs are used in 60% of patients with diagnosed EGFR mutation in the first line. For patients in whom chemotherapy is initiated while waiting for test results, 50% of medical oncologists prefer completing 4-6 cycles before switching to targeted therapy. At the time of progression, rebiopsy is possible in 25% of the patients. Rapid disease progression and poor PS were the two most common reasons given for the low rebiopsy rates. Conclusions: Application of molecular testing is ‎improving. Yield can be improved by training of multidisciplinary team involved in tumor biopsy. There is scope and need to reduce the turnaround time. This will reduce the current scenario of commencing chemotherapy while waiting for test results. Increasing application of liquid biopsy will help in initial diagnosis as well as at relapse, especially for patients with poor PS or difficult access to tumor site.

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