Q- What is lung cancer Biomarker Testing?

Biomarker testing is a procedure that provides more information about lung cancer tumours. The procedure entails a thorough examination of tumour tissue for DNA defects as well as the levels of different proteins. Based on the findings of biomarker studies, patients with lung cancer may be able to obtain "targeted" care. Targeted therapy has the potential to slow or stop tumour development.

Q- When should I talk to my doctor, about Biomarker Testing?

Before the Biopsy operation, it is best to discuss tumour testing with your doctor. This will ensure that enough tissue is removed for biomarker testing during the biopsy. If your cancer persists after you've finished a targeted therapy, you'll need to speak to your doctor about further biomarker testing.

Q-What if I already had my biopsy and my tumor was not tested?

Consult with your doctor to see if biomarker testing is correct for you and if any residual tissue can be tested. Your doctor can prescribe a second tumour biopsy or a blood test. The blood test is referred to as a "liquid biopsy" (a simple blood draw). Liquid biopsies can rapidly identify a range of critical biomarkers and can be paired with tissue biopsies to enhance patient care.

Q- What do the results of the Biomarker testing show?

Knowing your biomarker status can allow you to receive targeted therapy for your lung cancer, which can be very effective. The markers with current FDA-approved treatments are:

  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) mutation
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement
  • ROS1 rearrangement
  • BRAF V600E mutation
  • NTRK fusion
  • MET amplification or MET exon 14 skipping
  • RET rearrangements
  • PD-L1 level (a protein that may aid in determining whether or not your tumour will respond well to certain immunotherapy drugs)

Please watch the below video on "Biomarker Testing"

References- Lung Cancer Tumor Testing | American Lung Association. (n.d.). Www.lung.org. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/how-is-lung-cancer-diagnosed/lung-cancer-tumor-testing