SIDEBAR: Molecular Testing Requires Planning at Time of Biopsy
The molecular analysis of lung cancer patients is becoming more and more complex,” and clinicians therefore need to consider any additional tissue requirements upfront, Dr. Horn commented.
At Vanderbilt University, testing for EGFR, KRAS, and eight other mutations is done using the Lung SnaPshot platform, she explained. If clinicians wish to also test for the ALK, ROS, and RET fusion genes, they must obtain additional tumor specimens for the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) testing used to identify those molecular alterations. “So we need to make sure that we obtain adequate tissue at the time of biopsy to allow molecular testing to be performed,” Dr. Horn noted.
However, new technologies are addressing this logistic challenge. “There are some other platforms, such as Foundation Medicine, where all of these mutations and rearrangements can be performed on a single specimen,” she said. ■
Research reported at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting attests to the tremendous molecular diversity of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the power of appropriately selected treatment, according to Leora Horn, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who presented data on molecular findings...
It is not yet clear if it is beneficial to continue first-line EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with EGFR-mutated lung cancer who experience progression and are started on chemotherapy, according to Dr. Horn. Two trials, one in Asia (looking at gefitinib [Iressa]) and one in North...