Lugano, Switzerland, 10 June 2014 -- A landmark survey of more than 700 specialists provides crucial real-world insight into the treatments most oncologists choose for lung cancer patients whose tumour has been incompletely resected, an expert from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) says.
Jean Yves Douillard, from the ICO Institut de Cancerologie de l'Ouest Ren Gauducheau, France, Chair of the ESMO Educational Committee, was commenting on a paper published in the journal Lung Cancer. In the study, researchers led by Raffaele Califano of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK, surveyed 768 oncologists from 41 European countries about the treatments they offered patients who had "R1 resected" non-small-cell lung cancer.
R1 resection is a term used by oncologists to indicate that it is possible to find microscopic evidence of cancer cells remaining after a cancer has been surgically removed.
"We know that incomplete resection, or R1 resection, is associated with a higher risk of relapse but there are currently no strong evidence-based recommendations on how to treat these patients after surgery," Douillard says.
"This study is important since it provides a good overview on how the problem is handled in clinical practice all over Europe by practitioners who treat lung cancer."
Overall, 83% of experts surveyed were medical oncologists --specialists trained to treat cancer using chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy and other medications.
Of the respondents, 91.4% prescribed chemotherapy, mostly cisplatin/vinorelbine or cisplatin/gemcitabine. The survey showed that the majority of doctors (85%) discussed with the patient the fact that there was limited clinical evidence to guide treatment options. Almost 50% of participants prescribed radiotherapy, with radiation oncologists most likely to offer this treatment approach.
"Treating physicians clearly bel
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European Society for Medical Oncology