Non small cell lung cancer has a bleak prognosis and is one of the more aggressive forms of cancer. It is unfortunately also one of the most prevalent cancers. We present survival statistics, treatment patterns and most importantly clinical research and treatment efficacy measurements from documented and verified clinical trials.
The chart below shows the average mortality statistics (1 yr and 5 yr survival) of lung cancer patients, charted out by the stage of lung cancer when they were first diagnosed.
Relative Survival (%) by Lung Cancer Stage ( 1yr & 5 yr)
In general about 30% of patients whose lung cancer was first diagnosed at Stage 1 and 2 survive 5 years and more and there are reports of patients surviving and living cancer free after treatment much longer than that too. However, the survival rate does dip alarmingly for stage 3 and 4. Unfortunately about 70% of patients are diagnosed when their cancer is in the 3rd or 4th stage.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Patterns by Stage
Surgical removal of tumors are a preferred treatment pattern in the initial stages of cancer. For stage 2 and 3, a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy is preferred as the cancer is no longer localized in such patients.
EGRF, ALK & KRAS Mutation Factor in Treating Lung Cancer
EGFR mutation has emerged as an important biomarker that is linked to improved treatment response amongst lung cancer patients . Recent studies 1 have proven that such patients show much improved response when treated with targeted therapies involving EGFR-TKI than with standard chemotherapy regimens. Various clinical analysis has shown that a survival time of close to 5 years is not uncommon even in in advanced lung cancer patients but with the EGFR mutations.
|Oncogene||Prevalence of Mutation||Predicted Therapeutic Response||Response Rate Predicted|
|Most EGFR mutations are sensitive to EGFR TKIs - Vital for good treatment response||Erlotinib: ~82%–83%
|ALK||2–7%||Could be |
a) Sensitive to ALK inhibitors or
b) Resistant to EGFR TKIs
|If sensitive to ALK inhibitors, response rate could be around 60%.
If resistant to EGFR TKIs, response rate is 0
|Resistant to EGFR TKIs||0%–5% response rate|
The above figure shows the aggregated treatment responses in patients with various mutations.Erlotinib and gefitinib are the recommended first line treatments for patients with EGFR mutations. These medications act as EGFR-TKI on the tumor that shows the EGFR mutation.