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More Research, More Survivors - identifying patients suitable for personalised lung cancer treatments

As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and this year’s theme ‘More Research, More Survivors’, Amgen is pleased to announce that we are supporting the European Molecular Quality Network (EMQN) External Quality Assurance (EQA) scheme to help ensure high quality biomarker testing for patients with lung cancer.

Know your target mutations

In Europe, lung cancer is the main cause of cancer-related deaths; and has the lowest 5-year survival rate among other common cancers such as breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.1,2 Eighty-five percent of patients with lung cancer have non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is often diagnosed in an advanced stage and is therefore difficult to treat.3

Treatment options for lung cancer may include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy.4,5

Targeted therapy, which is developed against specific genetic alterations, requires biomarker testing to assess whether these alterations are present. Biomarker testing can therefore help to direct the right treatment to the right patients, also known as precision medicine.5

EMQN helps laboratories improve the accuracy of biomarker testing

EMQN is a not-for-profit, community interest company which aims to raise and maintain high standards of diagnostic clinical molecular genetic testing.6

The EMQN lung scheme includes biomarker testing for EGFR, BRAF and KRAS* mutations in the context of non-small cell lung cancer.7 It aims to ensure optimal accuracy and proficiency in biomarker testing.

By participating in these schemes, laboratories gain recognition for their activities, help to drive quality improvements and innovation, and get access to support from a network of international experts. Up to 425 laboratories globally may participate in the scheme.

  • EGFR is a cell surface receptor protein involved in cell signalling. Approximately 10-15% NSCLC patients may have a mutation in the gene encoding the EGFR protein.Over the last decade, different EGFR-targeting therapies have been developed and are now frequently used in the clinic.8,9
  • BRAF is another protein involved in cell signalling which is found downstream of EGFR. Approximately 1-5% of NSCLC patients may have a BRAF gene mutation. Targeted therapies against specific BRAF mutations, such as BRAF V600E, are also available.10
  • KRAS is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes, and is present in approximately 25% of NSCLC.11 Recently, clinical trials have been initiated to evaluate treatments specifically targeting the KRASG12C mutation which is found in approximately 13% of newly diagnosed NSCLC patients.11

Supporting quality assurance for the testing of biomarkers in lung cancer demonstrates Amgen’s commitment to precision medicine.

Click here for a link to the EQA flyer to learn how laboratories can register for an EQA scheme.

*EGFR: Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor; BRAF: v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1; KRAS: Kirsten rat sarcoma 2 viral oncogene homolog