LUNGevity Foundation, a nonprofit lung cancer organization, recently presented four of its research abstracts regarding patient preferences and treatment options were presented at this year’s International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) conference.
One oral presentation and three posters were presented at the 17th Annual World Conference on Lung Cancer (IASLC 2016) Dec. 4-7 in Vienna, Austria.
Andrea Ferris, LUNGevity’s president and chairman, attended the conference along with Upal Basu Roy, the organization’s director of research and policy, who presented the abstracts.
The oral presentation, titled “Willingness for Multiple Biopsies to Improve Quality of Lung Cancer Care: Understanding the Patient Perspective,” highlighted the organization’s goal to understand whether lung cancer patients would undergo additional biopsies at different points of their treatment.
The inquiry comes as a result of anecdotal evidence suggesting that healthcare providers are not recommending additional biopsies based on the assumption that patients will refuse them.
However, LUNGevity research shows that three-quarters of patients who participated in their studies would be willing to undergo additional biopsies if they could see the added benefit to their future, regardless of past pain or complications from initial biopsies at the time of diagnosis.
Also, up to 82 percent of lung cancer patients were also willing to have subsequent biopsies if they were to understand how it could help their healthcare providers match their treatment to their specific cancer.
Overall, LUNGevity’s research identified a mismatch between a patient’s willingness to undergo subsequent biopsies and a physician’s assumption. Reinforcing the importance of a patient-centric model, LUNGevity’s findings suggest the following:
- Physicians may discuss the risks and benefits of any additional biopsies with their patients to help them decide the best course of treatment.
- Patients may actively ask their healthcare providers about new treatments and promote the discussion about potentially necessary additional biopsies – understanding the end benefit is crucial.
- Patient advocacy organizations may actively participate in patient and physician education initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of open dialogue and help patients become equal partners in their treatment decision-making.
“As lung cancer research and treatment options have advanced rapidly over the last few years, additional tumor biopsies have become increasingly important for clinical decision-making and for research into understanding the biology of the disease over time,” Lecia V. Sequist, MD, a medical oncologist from Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and a member of LUNGevity’s scientific advisory board (SAB), said in a press release.
“An educated patient can be an equal partner with their oncologist in deciding among therapeutic options. This study confirms that oncologists should not be timid about gathering input from patients regarding performing biopsies,” Sequist added.
The three poster presentations at IASLC 2016 were titled:
- “Need for Consistent Language around Biomarker Testing in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Lung Cancer” (funded by Pfizer).
- “Estimating Time Equivalents for Cancer Side Effects among Lung Cancer Survivors and Caregivers: A Discrete-Choice Experiment” in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University (funded by Celgene).
- “Treating Cachexia-Anorexia in Lung Cancer Patients: Understanding the Patient Perspective on Novel Treatment Approaches” (funded by Helsinn).