Metastatic NSCLC patients to benefit from monotherapy drug option
Dr Bivas Biswas, Consultant, Medical Oncology at Tata Medical Center, Kolkata provides insight on improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival
Patients in India with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-activating mutations, can now benefit from monotherapy drugs that have improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival. Exon 21 L858R is one of the most common EGFR activating mutations accounting for ~32 per cent of EGFR mutated NSCLC in India . With a higher tumour mutation burden, the L858R tumours are genetically instable, aggressive and also have a shorter survival rate as compared to its commoner counterpart (Del 19 EGFR mutation). Moreover, patients with these mutations do not respond that well to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), making it more difficult to treat and also have a shorter survival rate. This is critical for India, where the high disease-attributable mortality of lung cancer makes this condition an important public health issue.
“Globally, lung cancer treatment has changed from histology-based to target-based approach, as the management of NSCLC patients is becoming increasingly complex and better,” said Dr Bivas Biswas, Consultant, Medical Oncology at Tata Medical Center, Kolkata. “Since prolongation of survival as well as improved quality of life is a key concern among our patients in India, monotherapy drug options are an addition to the current armamentarium and is a step forward in the right direction to provide physicians with a new first-line treatment option for
patients with this disease.”