Determination of essential biomarkers in lung cancer: a real-world data study in Spain with demographic, clinical, epidemiological and pathological characteristics

Mariano Provencio, Manuel Cobo, Delvys Rodriguez-Abreu, Virginia Calvo, Enric Carcereny, Alexandra Cantero, Reyes Bernabé, Gretel Benitez, Rafael López Castro, Bartomeu Massutí, Edel del Barco, Rosario García Campelo, Maria Guirado, Carlos Camps, Ana Laura Ortega, Jose Luis González Larriba, Alfredo Sánchez, Joaquín Casal, M. Angeles Sala, Oscar Juan-VidalJoaquim Bosch-Barrera, Juana Oramas, Manuel Dómine, Jose Manuel Trigo, Remei Blanco, Julia Calzas, Idoia Morilla, Airam Padilla, João Pimentão, Pedro A. Sousa, Maria Torrente

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Background: The survival of patients with lung cancer has substantially increased in the last decade by about 15%. This increase is, basically, due to targeted therapies available for advanced stages and the emergence of immunotherapy itself. This work aims to study the situation of biomarker testing in Spain. Patients and methods: The Thoracic Tumours Registry (TTR) is an observational, prospective, registry-based study that included patients diagnosed with lung cancer and other thoracic tumours, from September 2016 to 2020. This TTR study was sponsored by the Spanish Lung Cancer Group (GECP) Foundation, an independent, scientific, multidisciplinary oncology society that coordinates more than 550 experts and 182 hospitals across the Spanish territory. Results: Nine thousand two hundred thirty-nine patients diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) between 2106 and 2020 were analysed. 7,467 (80.8%) were non-squamous and 1,772 (19.2%) were squamous. Tumour marker testing was performed in 85.0% of patients with non-squamous tumours vs 56.3% in those with squamous tumours (p-value < 0.001). The global testing of EGFR, ALK, and ROS1 was 78.9, 64.7, 35.6% respectively, in non-squamous histology. PDL1 was determined globally in the same period (46.9%), although if we focus on the last 3 years it exceeds 85%. There has been a significant increase in the last few years of all determinations and there are even close to 10% of molecular determinations that do not yet have targeted drug approval but will have it in the near future. 4,115 cases had a positive result (44.5%) for either EGFR, ALK, KRAS, BRAF, ROS1, or high PDL1. Conclusions: Despite the lack of a national project and standard protocol in Spain that regulates the determination of biomarkers, the situation is similar to other European countries. Given the growing number of different determinations and their high positivity, national strategies are urgently needed to implement next-generation sequencing (NGS) in an integrated and cost-effective way in lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number732
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Biomarkers
  • Metastatic lung cancer
  • Targeted therapies
  • Testing


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