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New RWE Study Indicates Poor Prognosis for NSCLC Patients Despite Targeted Therapies

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New RWE Study Indicates Poor Prognosis for NSCLC Patients Despite Targeted Therapies 

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Finland, with a particularly poor prognosis for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is often diagnosed at an advanced stage when treatment options are limited. A recently published retrospective registry-based real-world evidence (RWE) study on KRAS-mutated NSCLC patients in Finland addressed this issue. 

Medaffcon’s study was the first of its kind in Finland. It demonstrated that lung cancer is at the forefront of medical advances, with genetic tests being routinely used, especially for NSCLC patients. 

The field is developing rapidly. New genetic factors, targeted therapies, and immuno-oncological treatments are entering the market quickly, which are expected to lead to better treatment outcomes. This results in a highly complex and constantly changing treatment landscape. Therefore, understanding the subgroups of NSCLC patients and their outcomes in real-world settings is increasingly important. 

The prognosis for non-small cell lung cancer remains poor despite the improvement in the prognosis for advanced NSCLC due to targeted therapies and immuno-oncological treatments. The need for personalised treatments is emphasised because genetic mutations significantly impact disease progression. 

The study indicates that NSCLC imposes a substantial economic burden. This is influenced by the complexity of treatment, the need for long-term care, the use of new and expensive treatment modalities, and the impact of the disease and treatments on patients’ ability to work and quality of life. 

Genetic Changes Play a Central Role in the Development of NSCLC

According to Riikka Mattila, PhD, Scientific Advisor at Medaffcon, genetic mutations, such as the KRAS mutation, play a central role in developing non-small cell lung cancer. 

“Lung cancer is at the forefront of personalized treatment development. Therefore, gene panels are important. It is essential to test all patients. In this study, it was found that some patients were tested while others were not,” says Riikka Mattila. 

The study identified 601 NSCLC patients, 64 % of whom were tested for genetic changes. Of those, 9 % had a KRAS G12C mutation. Common characteristics included younger age and smoking. 

“In our analysis, these patients fared worse and had higher resource use. These factors correlated: worse disease required more treatment,” says Riikka Mattila from the Medaffcon. 

KRAS G12C Stands Out Among Subgroups Regarding Overall Survival 

Patients with KRAS mutations were often at a metastatic stage at the time of diagnosis, meaning the disease had progressed significantly and spread to other parts of the body, making it more challenging to manage. The disease is aggressive, and treatment prognoses are generally poor. 

KRAS G12C, in particular, stood out from other subgroups. These patients had a shorter overall survival and used more healthcare resources than others. 

In summary, the study’s results highlight the significant impact of KRAS mutations on clinical outcomes and the use of healthcare resources, especially emphasising the KRAS G12C mutation. 

Study Highlights Finland’s Unique Research Environment 

The study showed that lung cancer treatment is at the forefront of medical advances, with genetic tests and targeted therapies being routinely used, particularly for NSCLC patients. 

The Medaffcon team included data scientists Anna Anttalainen and Samuli Tuominen and scientific advisor Riikka Mattila, PhD. The work is always done as a team, with the goal that the entire team is involved from the beginning of the project. If necessary, the expertise of the entire Medaffcon team is available. 

Finland is also an exceptional country for research.  

“We can combine all clinical data with social and healthcare data from deep genetic data in Finland. This cannot be done elsewhere,” says Riikka Mattila, Scientific Advisor and PhD. 

Results

  • The study identified 601 NSCLC patients, with 64 percent tested for genetic alterations. 
  • Among them, 9 percent had the KRAS G12C mutation, with younger age and a smoking history being
    common characteristics. 
  • Patients with KRAS mutations often presented with metastatic disease at diagnosis, suggesting a more
    aggressive disease course. 
  • Moreover, patients with KRAS G12C mutation experienced shorter overall survival and higher healthcare
    resource utilisation compared to other subgroups. 
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