Tackling the Testing Challenge in Lung Cancer

Revised recommendations for molecular testing can help us ensure that every patient is appropriately treated

By Neal Lindeman

April 2018

At a Glance

  • New discoveries in lung cancer genetics and biomarkers have led to the need for revised molecular testing recommendations
  • Three organizations have teamed up to issue updated guidelines that include new genetic tests
  • Genes such as ROS1, ERBB2, MET, BRAF, RET, and KRAS can provide new insight into the disease and offer a pathway to investigational therapies
  • Lung cancer is a rapidly evolving field and laboratories are encouraged to review and adopt the new recommendations as soon as possible

Lung cancer remains one of the world’s most significant causes of death, with the disease accounting for approximately one-fifth of all cancer mortality worldwide. As with most cancers, it’s possible that we could reduce those numbers with the help of appropriate testing to detect lung cancer early, stratify patients by risk, and identify appropriate treatments for each patient’s unique disease. Molecular testing can help – but to take full advantage of its scope and power, we need up-to-date testing recommendations to help guide its use.

  1. NI Lindeman et al., “Updated molecular testing guidelines for the selection of lung cancer patients for treatment with targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors”, J Thorac Oncol, 13, 323–358 (2018). PMID: 29355391.

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