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Study Examines Where Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients Fall Off Precision Oncology Pathway

Researchers from the testing laboratory Diaceutics have examined gaps along the precision medicine pathway where advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) patients may lose out on receiving targeted treatments. As they report in JCO Precision Oncology, the researchers identified seven broad steps along the precision oncology pathway — from biopsy referral to biomarker analysis and treatment decision — where clinical practice gaps may emerge. Using Diaceutics' proprietary data repository, the researchers traced the progress of 32,224 patients with aNSCLC along this pathway to find that just more than a third of eligible patients receive appropriate precision oncology treatments. In particular, about half of patients are lost during the preanalytical and analytical stages of testing and, of the patients who do undergo biomarker testing and have an actionable mutation, about 29 percent are lost to post-testing practice gaps. "Addressing practice gaps can lead to improved clinical care associated with a precision oncology approach," the researchers write. "Attention to practice gaps may also help to decrease healthcare costs through enhanced systemic efficiency and potentially reduced downstream spending on hospitalizations and health resource expenditures necessitated by suboptimal earlier care."