Clinical outcomes of ROS1-positive non-small cell lung cancer with limited access to ROS1-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs): experience from an Indian tertiary referral centre

15 Jan 2024
Goutam Santosh Panda, Vanita Noronha, Vijay Patil, Amit Joshi, Nandini Menon, Rajiv Kumar, Trupti Pai, Omshree Shetty, Amit Janu, Nivedita Chakrabarty, Nilendu Purandare, Sayak Dey, Kumar Prabhash

Introduction: ROS1 as a driver mutation is observed in approximately 1%–2% of all non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Given its rarity, we share our experience regarding ROS1-positive NSCLC including the access to ROS1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in a low-middle income country like India.

Methods: It is a retrospective analysis of ROS1-positive NSCLC patients registered between January 2015 to December 2021 for demographics, treatment patterns and outcomes i.e., overall survival (OS) and progression free survival (PFS).

Results: Baseline characteristics were available for 70 patients of 78 patients positive for ROS1 by fluorescent in situ hybridisation. Median age at presentation was 52 years, 39 (55.7%) were males, most (51, 72.86%) were non-smokers and ten patients (14.3%) had poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) i.e., PS >2 at presentation. A total of 67 patients receiving cancer directed therapy were analysed for survival. The first line (1L) therapies included – ROS1 TKIs in 38, chemotherapy in 20, epidermal growth factor receptor TKI in eight and chemotherapy-bevacizumab in one only. ROS1 TKI was provided to 20 patients as part of an assistance programme. The median OS for patients who received ROS1 TKI was not attained (95% CI 37.85–NA), while it was 8.11 (95% CI 6.31–NA) months for those who did not (HR-0.1673). The median PFS for the 1L ROS1 TKI compared to the no-TKI group was 27.07 (95% CI 24.28–NA) months versus 5.78 (95% CI 3.42–12) months (HR: 0.2047). Poor ECOG PS at presentation was the only independent prognosticator for survival.

Conclusion: Using ROS1 TKI improves clinical outcomes in all-comers though statistically not significant. To further improve outcomes, future trials should pay special attention to patients with poor PS and find a way to increase the current limited access to TKI.

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