Which Genetic Tests Are Important for Metastatic Lung Cancer Treatment?

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Which genetic tests are important for metastatic lung cancer patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of their body? Professor Charles Swanton explains targeted therapy and testing for genetic abnormalities to improve quality of life for metastatic patients.

This interview was recorded at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress held in Madrid (September 2017). Lung cancer videos recorded at ESMO 17 are part of an educational program by the Patient Empowerment Foundation (PEF). We thank AstraZeneca for their support.

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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.

Dr. Swanton:

So if one presents with metastatic disease, advanced disease that has spread beyond primary site, it's important to know the genetic hallmarks of the cancer that you're suffering from.  If you have an adenocarcinoma of the lung, and particularly if you've never smoked but even if you have smoked, it's very important to ask for epidermal growth factor receptor mutations, EGFR, ALK rearrangements, A-L-K rearrangements, and potentially Ronson-RET rearrangements as well to understand whether your tumor has those abnormalities that might enable you to have access to drugs that target those particular driver events very robustly.

Furthermore, we're increasing the testing now routinely patients’ tumors for PD-L1 that allows us to offer patients drugs like pembroluzimab (Keytruda), checkpoint inhibitor molecules, anti-PD-1 therapies for patients.  That is obviously also very important parts of our armamentarium now to offer patients, hopefully benefit from therapy in the advanced setting.

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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Page last updated on October 24, 2017