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Racial and ethnic inequities at the practice and physician provider levels in timely NGS for patients with aNSCLC treated in the US community setting


March 2024


Vidal GA, Jain N, Fisher A, et al. Racial and Ethnic Inequities at the Practice and Physician Levels in Timely Next-Generation Sequencing for Patients With Advanced Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treated in the US Community Setting. JCO Oncol Pract 0, OP. 23.00253. DOI: 10.1200/OP.23.00253

Our summary

In recent years, cancer care delivery for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) has become more personalized with several targeted treatments approved by the FDA. Biomarker testing has evolved from single gene hotspot testing to comprehensive molecular profiling like next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing. While there has been an increase in biomarker testing uptake in clinical practices, rates of timely and adequate testing remain suboptimal, leaving eligible patients without targeted therapy options.

Studies have documented racial/ethnic disparities in NGS testing for aNSCLC patients in routine clinical practices in the US, with Black and Latinx patients being less likely to receive NGS testing than their White counterparts. While one study identified the lack of physician ordering as the main reason for the absence of NGS testing, there is a lack of data quantifying the extent to which provider and practice-level factors contribute to racial/ethnic inequities in NGS testing. 

To address these disparities and identify potential solutions, researchers from multiple institutions, including Genentech, Foundation Medicine, Flatiron Health, and Flatiron community oncology clinics (West Cancer Center and Research Institute and One Oncology), aimed to investigate this exact impact in NGS testing for aNSCLC patients in the US community setting.

Why this matters

The study’s focus on understanding the factors contributing to these inequities is paramount for designing targeted interventions and policies to improve equity in optimum cancer care delivery and outcomes for all patients. By identifying whether differences in care at the practice or provider level are driving these disparities, interventions can be tailored to address specific areas where improvements can be most impactful.

Read the research