Diagnosis of lung cancer is overwhelming. From understanding the type and extent of the cancer and your treatment options, to preparing for the journey ahead, you aren’t alone if you feel unsure about where to begin.
Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon (“Dr. O” for short), is an oncologist with the Baptist Cancer Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and treats a variety of individuals with lung cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here, Dr. O tells us how biomarker testing before receiving treatment can help identify the appropriate treatment for patients with NSCLC, which may include targeted therapies. Targeted therapies use drugs to attack specific, biomarker-identified, types of cancer cells with less harm to normal cells. Some targeted therapies block the action of certain enzymes, proteins, or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells.
What are biomarkers and what is comprehensive biomarker testing?
Dr. O: A biomarker is a molecule that can be measured in your blood, other bodily fluids, or tissues that can help to identify the presence or predict the future behavior of a disease, in this case, lung cancer. Comprehensive biomarker testing includes all the biomarkers that are recommended for your type and stage of NSCLC based on the most current clinical guidelines.
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Who should get comprehensive biomarker testing?
Dr. O: If you’ve been diagnosed with NSCLC, you should ask your doctor if you should have comprehensive biomarker testing before you start treatment, including when your cancer is first diagnosed, when it recurs or when it progresses.
What information can comprehensive biomarker testing results provide?
Dr. O: Testing for all the clinically recommended biomarkers helps your doctor understand the best treatment for your lung cancer. Biomarkers can tell us how well the cancer might respond to certain types of therapy and how we can