Accessibility Statement

Improving Access to Precision Cancer Care Through Collaborative Research

June 13, 2023    Posted by: Eli Lilly and Company

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For people battling cancer, it’s important to know their doctor is up to date on the latest information, technology and treatment options. With biomarker testing, doctors can better understand a patient's disease by looking for abnormal genes, proteins or other molecules within a person's cancer and tailor specific targeted treatment for their patients.

In fact, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends biomarker testing for people with advanced or metastatic cancers to help determine the best therapies.

Comprehensive biomarker testing is underutilized for many reasons. There’s a lack of access to the tests, especially for people of color, the uninsured or underinsured, and those treated in rural areas. Insurance coverage varies. Even those with coverage can face high out-of-pocket costs. Biomarker testing also takes time, but it may be worth the wait to understand the cancer’s specific drivers, which can lead to a more individualized approach to care known as precision medicine.

While precision medicine is not yet part of routine care for most patients, we’re working to educate people about biomarker testing benefits and make it more accessible for those diagnosed with cancer, no matter who they are or where they live. To do this, we’ve embraced partnerships focused on quality improvement initiatives.

Supporting Biomarker Testing Through Meaningful Research Collaborations

As more targeted treatments become available through clinical trials and medicine approvals, overcoming barriers to biomarker testing is becoming increasingly important.

We are collaborating with institutions across the country to build a body of evidence in support of comprehensive biomarker testing, particularly in underserved populations. These partnerships include:

  • The University of Kentucky, to investigate the impact of precision medicine nurse navigators and molecular tumor boards in rural satellite hospitals;

  • The University of Pennsylvania, to study the integration of concurrent tissue and plasma molecular testing "nudges" into clinical management systems;

  • MAWD Pathology Group of Lenexa, Kansas, to research the reduction of time to biomarker test results by localizing testing equipment in a community laboratory setting; and

  • Louisiana State University, to look at improving patient care by removing cost barriers to comprehensive biomarker testing.

The goal is to publish results and use the evidence to advocate for practice-pattern changes, including increased adoption and utilization of high-quality comprehensive biomarker testing for patients who need it most.

No cost comprehensive biomarker testing for eligible lung cancer patients is available through our partnership with national clinical laboratories, including Tempus. The program with Tempus initially focused on underserved communities, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and has since been offered broadly across the U.S.

Because cancer treatments aren’t “one size fits all,” understanding the biology of cancers is critical to developing and delivering medicines that can target these specific mutations and may improve outcomes for patients.

Precision medicine is one of our guiding principles for drug development and an important aspect for the vision for our pipeline.