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Predicting survival of non-small-cell lung cancer patients with brain metastases

Researchers from the University of Minnesota (MN, USA) have published an article in JAMA Oncology reporting on their recent update to the Diagnosis-Specific Graded Prognostic Assessment (DS-GPA) tool. This update includes data to improve estimates of survival in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has metastasized to the brain.

Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent causes of cancer-related death in the United States with later complications including metastasis to the brain. As new therapies are becoming more effective against the disease, patients are living longer, meaning they are at an increased risk of brain metastases. This therefore highlights the need for improved methods of predicting prognosis in patients suffering from NSCLC.

In this study, the researchers added genetic and molecular data to the DS-GPA tool to establish the Lung-molGPA index. These data were generated from analysis of a multi-institutional database of 2186 patients from 2008 to 2014 who had NSCLC that had metastasized to the brain.

The results from this database analysis included the establishment of two new prognostic factors: EGFR and ALK gene mutations. They also found the overall median survival length in patients in this group was 12 months. These results including other prognostic factors were then entered into the DS-GPA tool to create the Lung-molGPA index.

Although the study design is limited as it cannot establish causality, there are hopes that the updated Lung-molGPA tool will provide assistance in the design of future clinical trials.

Source: Sperduto PW, Yang J, Beal K, et al. Estimating Survival in Patients With Lung Cancer and Brain Metastases. JAMA Oncology. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3834 (2016); http://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/estimating-survival-in-patients-with-lung-cancer-brain-metastases/