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Analysis Finds Increase in Molecular Testing Among NSCLC, CRC Patients

A new study has found that molecular testing rates for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) has risen among Medicare recipients in the US, though the researchers note that the rates remain below recommended levels. In JAMA Network Open, the researchers led by Brigham and Women's Hospital's Nancy Keating examined molecular testing rates among 145,740 Medicare beneficiaries newly diagnosed with NSCLC or CRC between 2015 and 2019. They noted that testing rate increased between 2015 and 2019 from 74.1 percent in 2015 for NSCLC patients to 84.7 percent in 2019 and from 45.2 percent in 2015 to 64.7 percent among CRC patients. For NSCLC patients, they also found that testing rates were similar across different clinical practice types, though National Cancer Institute-designated cancers centers were more likely to use multigene panels and targeted therapies. For CRC patients, testing rates varied by clinical practice type, but targeted therapy use was similar across practice types. "The findings of this study suggest that there remains substantial underuse of molecular testing and targeted therapies, with variation by practice type and patient characteristics," the researchers write.