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  • Author: Neal J. Meropol x
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Stephen J. Bagley, Suzanna Talento, Nandita Mitra, Neal J. Meropol, Roger B. Cohen, Corey J. Langer and Anil Vachani

Background: Despite recent advances in targeted therapy and immunotherapy for advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), carboplatin/pemetrexed/bevacizumab remains a commonly used first-line regimen. However, it is unknown whether the addition of bevacizumab to carboplatin/pemetrexed improves overall survival (OS). Materials and Methods: Using nationally representative curated electronic health record data from Flatiron Health, we performed a retrospective cohort study of patients diagnosed with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC who received ≥1 cycle of carboplatin/pemetrexed ± bevacizumab as initial systemic therapy for stage IV or metastatic/recurrent disease. The OS impact of adding bevacizumab to carboplatin/pemetrexed was assessed using a Cox proportional hazards model to adjust for age, sex, race, original tumor stage, time between diagnosis of metastatic disease and start of chemotherapy, and performance status. In a secondary analysis of patients at a single academic institution, we also adjusted for the presence of brain metastases, hemoptysis, and anticoagulation. Results: A total of 4,724 patients were included, of which 2,759 patients (58%) received carboplatin/pemetrexed and 1,965 (42%) received carboplatin/pemetrexed/bevacizumab. Median OS was 12.1 months (95% CI, 11.2–12.9 months) in the carboplatin/pemetrexed/bevacizumab group compared with 8.6 months (95% CI, 8.1–9.1 months) in the carboplatin/pemetrexed group (P<.001). Bevacizumab use remained associated with improved OS in a multivariate model (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.75–0.86; P<.001). In the secondary, institutional analysis (N=539), the effect of bevacizumab was unchanged (hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.59–0.96; P=.02). Conclusions: In this large, real-world dataset, the addition of bevacizumab to first-line carboplatin/pemetrexed for metastatic nonsquamous NSCLC was associated with improved OS.

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Neal J. Meropol, Joanne S. Buzaglo, Jennifer Millard, Nevena Damjanov, Suzanne M. Miller, Caroline Ridgway, Eric A. Ross, John D. Sprandio and Perry Watts

Although clinical trial research is required for the development of improved treatment strategies, very few cancer patients participate in these studies. The purpose of this study was to describe psychosocial barriers to clinical trial participation among oncologists and their cancer patients. A survey was distributed to all medical oncologists in Pennsylvania and a subset of their patients. Relevant background information and assessment of practical and psychosocial barriers to clinical trial participation were assessed. Among 137 oncologists and 170 patients who completed the surveys, 84% of patients were aware of clinical trials, and oncologists and patients generally agreed that clinical trials are important to improving cancer treatment. However, oncologists and patients were more likely to consider clinical trials in advanced or refractory disease. When considering 7 potential barriers to clinical trials, random assignment and fear of receiving a placebo were ranked highly by both patients and oncologists. Patients identified fear of side effects as the greatest barrier to clinical trial participation, whereas oncologists ranked this psychosocial barrier as least important to their patients. Overall, the study found that although oncologists and patients are aware of clinical trials and have favorable attitudes toward them, psychosocial barriers exist for patients that may impact participation in clinical trials. Furthermore, important discrepancies exist between the perceptions of oncologists and those of patients regarding what the psychosocial barriers are. We concluded that characterizing oncologist and patient perceived barriers can help improve communication and decision making about clinical trials, such that participation may be optimized.