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Should Lung Cancer Patients Be Tested Following First-Line Therapy?

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Published on August 20, 2018

If a patient’s cancer treatment stops working, and tumors are growing despite being treated, how do doctors assess a change of course in therapy? Can the molecular composition of a tumor change over time? Lung cancer expert Dr. Edward Kim, from Levine Cancer Institute, explains why transformations in tumor DNA may occur, how this influences second-line treatment decisions and what testing is needed to find a more effective therapy. Dr. Kim also discusses the value of re-testing patients after first-line therapy as demonstrated in the BATTLE trial.

This is a Patient Empowerment Network program produced by Patient Power. We thank Celgene and Pfizer for their support.

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Transcript | Should Lung Cancer Patients Be Tested Following First-Line Therapy?

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

So a patient, just as you say, who has been treated maybe there was some success but then it—with chemotherapy it's always a little transient, and then now the tumor is growing despite being treated, that could be a different tumor.  It's been shown also by the Boston group that you get transformation to small cell, of all things, in about 15 percent of patients.  And so different histologists all together.  So who knows what will evolve out of the cancer that's been treated that is now beginning to grow.   

And so I think it's really important to have a repeat biopsy when this occurs to help again drive the appropriate treatment.  And, as we talked about earlier, if it's difficult sometimes a liquid biopsy can even be done at this setting if it's difficult or the patient is has a difficult area to get tissue.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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