1382P_PR - Awareness and understanding of stratified/personalized medicine in patients treated for cancer: a multinational survey

Date 30 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Poster presentation II
Topics Patient Education and Advocacy
Personalised/Precision medicine
Basic Principles in the Management and Treatment (of cancer)
Presenter Sabine Tejpar
Authors S. Tejpar1, T. Teague2, J. Lake3, J. Tabernero4, J.F. Vansteenkiste5, S. Vlassak6, F. Ciardiello7
  • 1Digestive Oncology Unit, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, BE-3000 - Leuven/BE
  • 2Global Business Intelligence, Oncology, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt/DE
  • 3Vivian Road, Mile End, London/UK
  • 4Medical Oncology Department, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, ES-08035 - Barcelona/ES
  • 5Respiratory Oncology Unit (pulmonology), University Hospital Gasthuisberg, BE-3000 - Leuven/BE
  • 6Global Clinical Development Unit-oncology, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt/DE
  • 7Dip. Medico Chirurgico Di Internistica, Second University of Naples, 80131 - Naples/IT



The identification of biomarkers predictive for the efficacy of targeted anticancer agents allows for the tailoring of treatment to maximize patient (pt) benefit and outcomes. It is important that information about the potential for the personalization of anticancer therapy is available to pts so that they are fully informed about treatment and biomarker screening options. The current survey assessed pt awareness and understanding of these issues.


Pts with a diagnosis of late-stage breast cancer (BC), stage III/IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) within the previous 5 years were eligible. Participating physicians or pt organizations in seven countries (Argentina, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) identified potentially suitable pts and invited them to take part. Written informed consent was obtained from all pts, with those confirmed as eligible then completing a telephone-based questionnaire.


Questionnaires were completed by 811 pts: 164 previously diagnosed with BC; 157 with NSCLC and 490 with mCRC. Of those interviewed: 260/811 pts (32%) thought that there was no method of testing to determine which cancer treatments might work (or work better) in certain people, while 430/811 pts (53%) thought that such testing might be possible (62% of pts with BC, 48% with NSCLC and 52% with mCRC). Most pts (532/811, 66%) were willing to delay treatment if that helped select the most effective drug, 286/532 (54%) of those, by more than two weeks, and most (557/811, 69%) were willing to undergo a tumor re-biopsy as part of any such treatment selection process. Almost all pts (737/811, 91%) would allow a hospital to retain a tumor sample for future research. The internet was cited as a useful source of information regarding disease and treatment options by 192/811 pts (24%).


Pts are generally willing to participate in biomarker test procedures to facilitate the personalization of their treatment. There is considerable scope for physicians and support groups to better inform pts that not all cancers are the same and that new tests may be able to identify which treatments will work most effectively for them.


S. Tejpar: The author declares research and speakers' bureau funding from Merck Serono.

T. Teague: The author is an employee of Merck KGaA.

J. Tabernero: The author declares: Consultant or Advisory Role (compensated) : Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Merck KGaA, Millennium, Novartis, Onyx, Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi Honoraria: Amgen, Merck KGaA, Novartis, Roche and Sanofi.

S. Vlassak: I am an employee for Merck Serono in the medical department.

All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.