Only 4% of Indian Patients Benefited From Targeted Therapy


eMediNexus    09 August 2022

Precision medicine, or genomically targeted therapy, is the buzzword in oncology treatment globally. However, a new multicenter study from India has revealed that the proportion of patients who get clinical benefits from genomically targeted therapies is around 4%, a similar ratio to the benefits noted by patients worldwide (5%). The study called it a silver lining for patients with advanced lung cancer, breast, ovarian, colon, and several other types of cancer.

Dr. Aju Mathew, an oncologist and the lead author of the study, stated that these numbers are expected to increase as new targetable genes are discovered, more targeted medicines are invented, the cost of testing becomes cheaper, drugs become cheaper, and accessibility to therapy rises. He also added that the study criteria excluded several patients for whom targeted gene testing was needed for a highly targetable mutation. If the said population had been included for targeted testing for precision medicine, then the number of patients benefiting from precision medicine would have increased significantly. Several experts have stated that oncologists must use genomic assays judiciously and in the right context for the right patient, and the results of such testing must be applied within the scope of evidence-based medicine.

Meanwhile, policymakers should focus on improving access to therapy that has shown significant benefits. So that patients can obtain the medicine and benefit from it. Dr. Mathew added that given the significant financial toxicity associated with cancer care in India, it is necessary to have an open discussion with patients on the benefit of such testing and therapy. But at the same time, the benefits of precision medicine should not be downplayed. 

(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/proportion-of-indian-patients-getting-clinical-benefit-around-4-says-study/93441461 )

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