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New Market Research Study Shows Lung Cancer Treatments Differ Significantly by Both Age and Geography
Date:6/1/2009

New Merck KGaA Study Reveals Wide Variations in Therapy Regimens, with Monotherapy Most Common in Elderly Patients and Triplets Most Prevalent in the US

ORLANDO, Fla., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- There are striking differences in treatment regimens for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, based on both age and geography, according to a new market research study conducted by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, presented as a poster on Saturday at the 2009 ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) meeting in Orlando, Florida (Abstract no.: 8053; Poster no.: N15). Performed in conjunction with TNS Healthcare, the representative study shows that among patients with advanced NSCLC, monotherapy is used most often among those 70 or older, while combination therapies are administered most frequently to younger patients. Location also is a key factor in determining therapy choice, with a chemotherapy doublet plus a targeted agent far more common in the US than in Europe.

"While chemotherapy doublets remain the standard regimen for first-line treatment of stage IIIB and IV NSCLC, there are substantial differences among regions in the doublets most often chosen and whether a targeted agent is concurrently administered," says J.F. Vansteenkiste, first author of the poster. "For example, the preferred doublet in Europe is platinum plus gemcitabine, used in 29% of patients. In contrast, in the US and Japan, platinum plus taxanes is predominant, used in more than a quarter of American and more than half of Japanese patients."

"The most extensive use of doublets plus targeted agent is in the US, in contrast with Europe and Japan. Almost half of non-squamous cancer patients younger than 70 are being treated with these combinations in the US. Even among those older than 70, more than a quarter of patients are on chemotherapy doublets plus targeted agent." Randomized phase III studies have shown that adding targeted agen
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SOURCE TNS Healthcare
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