Optimizing care in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Zeroing in on personalized medicine with precision

Cost: Free

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Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States with over 235,000 new cases diagnosed and representing a quarter of all cancer deaths at a rate of 132,000 annually. While smoking contributes to 82% of lung cancer deaths, nonsmoking-related lung cancer deaths still fall in the top ten causes of cancer deaths and represents a growing proportion of cases. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer diagnosed, accounting for approximately 80% of patients diagnosed. Despite clear guidance on surveillance for disease in individuals at high risk, late diagnosis is a fundamental obstacle to improving lung cancer outcomes. 55% of NSCLC cases are diagnosed after metastasis, at which point the two- and five-year survival rates are 20% and 6.1%, respectively, whereas patients diagnosed with local disease experience survival rates of 81% and 61.4%, respectively. Treatment decisions are influenced by disease stage, histology (squamous vs. non-), and the tumor’s molecular features (e.g., PD-L1, EGFR, ALK, BRAF, NTRK, ROS1), although patient factors like performance status and comorbidities should also inform the development, optimization, and personalizing of individual treatment plans. First-line therapy for patients with advanced-stage NSCLC who are anti-programmed-death 1 (PD-1) positive is immunotherapy with a targeted monoclonal antibody. Targeted therapies are also preferred over platinum-based doublets as first-line therapy in patients whose tumors have targetable genetic mutations. The care plan need take into account management of adverse events from therapy, which may result in treatment delays, increased morbidity, or contribute to treatment failure.

Target Audience:

HCPs specializing in: Oncology, pulmonology, and pathology; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who practice in oncology; and any other healthcare professionals with an interest in or who clinically encounter patients with advanced NSCLC.

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