open access

Vol 11, No 4 (2015)
Research paper
Published online: 2015-08-27
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Lung cancer — the clinical benefits of treatment with ALK inhibitors in light of economic constraints in Poland

Rafał Dziadziuszko, Rafał Zyśk
Oncol Clin Pract 2015;11(4):191-201.

open access

Vol 11, No 4 (2015)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2015-08-27

Abstract

In 2012, approximately 153 thousand of new cancer cases and almost 95 thousand cancer-related deaths were recorded in Poland. Despite an increase in new cancer cases, the number of deaths decreased as compared to the previous year. It is estimated that in Poland in 2012 more than 364 thousand people were alive with cancer diagnosed during last 5 years. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of mortality and the greatest social challenge among all malignancies. In the female population, both morbidity and mortality from lung cancer are increasing, while both of these indicators are steadily decreasing among men. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most commonly diagnosed group of lung cancers, accounting for more than 80% of histological diagnoses. Lung cancer is characterized by unfavorable five-year survival rates (in Poland approximately 14%) and relatively little therapeutic progress for decades. Growing number of genetic determinants of the development and progression of lung cancer have been identified recently with impact on new therapies, in particular molecularly targeted agents. In recent years, results of randomized phase II and phase III clinical trials and retrospective analyses indicate significant improvements in outcomes of overall survival, progression free survival, objective response rate, quality of life in the groups of patients with certain genetic abnormalities in tumor cells. Wide availability of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor treatment in the first or second line treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer allows for prolonged progression-free survival of patients with mutations in the EGFR gene by 66% compared to those receiving standard chemotherapy. However, precise selection of patients for ALK inhibitor in second-line therapy of advanced NSCLC patients with ALK gene rearrangement allows for prolongation of median overall survival to approx. 30 months, which has never been obtained in this group of patients. The drug programs currently funded by the National Health Fund do not cover ALK inhibitors, that have to meet challenging pharmacoeconomic requirements. The growing role of economic analyses in the process of updating and implementation of oncological drug programs in Poland has a crucial impact on the availability of new treatment options for patients. It seems, therefore that verification of the updated results and correct interpretation of pharmacoeconomic data is of greatest importance.

Abstract

In 2012, approximately 153 thousand of new cancer cases and almost 95 thousand cancer-related deaths were recorded in Poland. Despite an increase in new cancer cases, the number of deaths decreased as compared to the previous year. It is estimated that in Poland in 2012 more than 364 thousand people were alive with cancer diagnosed during last 5 years. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of mortality and the greatest social challenge among all malignancies. In the female population, both morbidity and mortality from lung cancer are increasing, while both of these indicators are steadily decreasing among men. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most commonly diagnosed group of lung cancers, accounting for more than 80% of histological diagnoses. Lung cancer is characterized by unfavorable five-year survival rates (in Poland approximately 14%) and relatively little therapeutic progress for decades. Growing number of genetic determinants of the development and progression of lung cancer have been identified recently with impact on new therapies, in particular molecularly targeted agents. In recent years, results of randomized phase II and phase III clinical trials and retrospective analyses indicate significant improvements in outcomes of overall survival, progression free survival, objective response rate, quality of life in the groups of patients with certain genetic abnormalities in tumor cells. Wide availability of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor treatment in the first or second line treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer allows for prolonged progression-free survival of patients with mutations in the EGFR gene by 66% compared to those receiving standard chemotherapy. However, precise selection of patients for ALK inhibitor in second-line therapy of advanced NSCLC patients with ALK gene rearrangement allows for prolongation of median overall survival to approx. 30 months, which has never been obtained in this group of patients. The drug programs currently funded by the National Health Fund do not cover ALK inhibitors, that have to meet challenging pharmacoeconomic requirements. The growing role of economic analyses in the process of updating and implementation of oncological drug programs in Poland has a crucial impact on the availability of new treatment options for patients. It seems, therefore that verification of the updated results and correct interpretation of pharmacoeconomic data is of greatest importance.

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Keywords

lung cancer, epidemiology, molecularly targeted therapy, ALK inhibitors, healthcare reimbursement, access to targeted therapies, cancer treatment costs, economic burden of cancer, cost effectiveness, National Health Fund

About this article
Title

Lung cancer — the clinical benefits of treatment with ALK inhibitors in light of economic constraints in Poland

Journal

Oncology in Clinical Practice

Issue

Vol 11, No 4 (2015)

Article type

Research paper

Pages

191-201

Published online

2015-08-27

Bibliographic record

Oncol Clin Pract 2015;11(4):191-201.

Keywords

lung cancer
epidemiology
molecularly targeted therapy
ALK inhibitors
healthcare reimbursement
access to targeted therapies
cancer treatment costs
economic burden of cancer
cost effectiveness
National Health Fund

Authors

Rafał Dziadziuszko
Rafał Zyśk

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