Is EGFR Mutation Testing Worth It In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?

Chiang Mai, Thailand – Lung cancer is a major cause of cancer death in Thailand. Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) inhibitors have been commonly used for the treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), however, the drug costs are extremely high compared to standard chemotherapy. Evidence confirms that the benefit of the EGFR inhibitors occurs in patients with EGFR mutation greater than those without EGFR mutation. As a result, researchers from Chiang Mai University created a study that provides useful information regarding value for money of the EGFR testing in first-line treatment.

The researchers found that a cost-effectiveness evaluation of EGFR testing in first-line treatment among Thai NSCLC with EGFR mutation shows EGFR testing in first-line gefitinib treatment yielded 0.03 quality-adjusted life year gained with 62,450 THB (2,082.58 USD) less total costs compared with the no testing. As a result, the researchers recommend that EGFR testing should be considered before first-line treatment with EGFR inhibitors in NSCLC in Thailand.

“The study demonstrates the importance of EGFR testing in the first-line treatment of NSCLC with gefitinib.” says Unchalee Permsuwan, PhD, Associate Professor at Chiang Mai University in Thailand and the lead researcher of this study, and Sumitra Thongprasert, MD, Emeritus Professor and Medical Oncologist at Chiang Mai University.

The full study, “Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation Testing in Thailand: A Cost-Utility Analysis,” is published in Value in Health Regional Issues, Volume 3.

Value in Health Regional Issues (ISSN 2212-1099) is a scientific journal that encourages and enhances the science of pharmacoeconomic/health economic and health outcomes research and its use in health care decisions. The journal is published up to three times a year with one issue focusing on the Asia region, one issue focusing on the Latin America region, and one issue focusing on the Central & Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Africa regions.

The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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