Boehringer Ingelheim announced today results of a new European survey investigating therapy goals, prescribing habits and decision-making criteria of physicians treating patients with advanced lung cancer with adenocarcinoma histology after first-line chemotherapy. These data show that, when administering treatment after first-line chemotherapy, only 40% of physicians considered extending overall survival as a priority goal for those patients with a good performance status; 55% of physicians stated that their priority therapy goal was either related to maintaining quality of life (36%) or achieving disease stability (19%).
Professor Nicolas Girard, University Hospital of Lyon, France, commented, “Effectively balancing efficacy and tolerability is at the core of achieving the best outcomes for patients with advanced lung cancer and both factors always need to be considered in tandem. These data have highlighted that whilst a significant number of physicians treating patients with advanced adenocarcinoma, who have a good performance status after first-line chemotherapy, are ‘survival orientated’, the primary intention of therapy for over a third of physicians remains quality of life. This is despite the fact that extension of life, whilst maintaining quality of life, is now a realistic therapy goal for these patients against a backdrop of a rapidly evolving treatment landscape.”
The European survey questioned 500 physicians treating patients with advanced/ metastatic (stage IIIb/IB) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) of adenocarcinoma histology with anti-cancer medications. The aim of the survey was to better understand the perspective of physicians when prescribing a treatment in order to stimulate discussion on the provision of optimal care for all lung cancer patients. Following a screening process, 100 physicians from each country (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) were asked to consider their approach to treatment of advanced adenocarcinoma after first-line chemotherapy. They were asked to consider their most important therapy goal, prescribing behaviour, based on perceived patient outcomes; product features of their preferred treatment choices and clinical parameters that influence treatment choice.
With regards to product criteria, only 36% of physicians considered the most important product feature to be that it ‘offers a clinically relevant increase in overall survival’; 54% of physicians prioritised either ‘offers a clinically relevant increase in progression-free survival’ (27%) or ‘maintaining quality of life’ (27%), as the most important.
These data also highlighted that physician therapy goals changed depending on the line of therapy and performance status, with tolerability becoming more important in later lines of therapy and as performance status declined. The most important patient characteristics considered, when deciding on a treatment for advanced adenocarcinoma after first-line chemotherapy, were the patient’s comorbidities.
Dr Mehdi Shahidi, Medical Head, Solid Tumour Oncology, Boehringer Ingelheim commented, “In the last few years huge strides have been made in the treatment of advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung after first-line chemotherapy. Following an absence of clinically meaningful developments in the previous decade for the biggest lung cancer patient population, extending patient survival is now a realistic therapy goal. We are committed to improving the lives of lung cancer patients and we hope to share the results of this survey across the lung cancer community to help increase understanding and communicate learnings of the different prescribing approaches of physicians in Europe.”
The full results of the survey will be published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2016.
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