Biomarker Underutilization Means Missed Opportunities in Cancer

“Testing rates lag behind clinical guidelines and advancements in the field,” according to a white paper from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and the LUNGevity Foundation, preventing “cancer patients from receiving therapies that could [improve] outcomes,” the authors write…, Biomarker Underutilization Means Missed Opportunities in Cancer, M. Alexander Otto, MMS, PA 2021

One example is testing for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which identifies candidates for drugs such as erlotinib. In community oncology practices across the United States, fewer than 50% of eligible patients were tested for EGFR in 2016, several years after such testing became standard of care.

Another example is biomarker testing for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC), which is recommended in clinical guidelines; from 2013 to 2017, only 40% of patients in academic and community settings were tested.