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» » Lung cancer patients to get free EGFR mutation testing

Lung cancer patients to get free EGFR mutation testing


Lung cancer patients to get free EGFR mutation testing

Medical staff begin EGFR mutation testing for non-small cell lung cancer patients at Da Nang’s Oncology hospital. (Photo: VNA)


Da Nang (VNA) - The central city of Da Nang’s Oncology
Hospital, in cooperation with the British–Swedish biopharmaceutical firm
AstraZeneca, has launched its first-ever Epidermal growth factor receptor
(EGFR) mutation testing programme for non-small cell lung cancer patients in
Vietnam.
Hospital director Nguyen Ut said the testing, which has seen as the first in
Asia Pacific region, will help non-small-cell lung cancer patients in the
central region increase survival from one to two years with non-progressive of
the disease.
“The testing system also helps lung cancer patients save time and money from
traveling from the region to HCM city for three-week tests,” Ut said, adding
that the EGFR mutation testing will give results within 24 hours instead of
several weeks.
He said the 550-bed hospital has seen overload of over 700 patients, of which
30 percent were local residents and 70 percent were from 40 provinces and
cities.
As scheduled, the hospital and AstraZeneca will give free of charge testing for
all patients in the first year.
According to deputy director of the hospital, Nguyen Hoang Long, an EGFR
mutation test would cost around 5 million VND (221 USD) each including health
insurance, while a tablet for non-small cell lung cancer costs 1 million VND (44.2
USD) with 50 percent paid by health insurance.
Long said EGFR mutation testing also allows doctors to diagnose accurately,
while patients will ease their pains from taking pills rather than costly
chemotherapy.
Nicolas Jones, chief representative of AstraZeneca Singapore’s office in
Vietnam, said EGFR mutation testing plays as the most important role in
supporting non-small cell lung cancer patients.
He hopes that the cooperation with Da Nang’s Oncology will provide an easier
access to European standard EGFR mutation testing among patients in Da Nang and
neighbouring provinces.
He said the launch of EGFR mutation testing will help prolong survival among
lung cancer patients and improve health care service in Vietnam, which is
AstraZeneca’s commitment.
Nicolas added that AstraZeneca will provide testing procedure consultation and
testing as well as EGFR testing mutation technical training for physicians and
medical staffs of the hospital.
According to the ministry of health, lung cancer has a high fatality rate among
cancer patients. 19,559 patients--20.6 percent of cancer patients--died in Vietnam
in 2012.
It’s expected that the country would see more than 29,000 new cases of lung
cancer in 2020.
The hospital has provided free of charge treatment and meals for the poor
cancer patients in central Vietnam and free accommodation for their relatives
during treatment at the hospital since 2013.-VNA

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