I Am Going to Have My Tumor Tested for Mutations, What Should I Expect From the Procedure?

A core biopsy will be needed for the testing. This will involve a small piece of the tumor to be removed. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure. Next, as much of the specimen as possible will be placed into what is called a cell block. From that cell block, slides will be made to allow scientists to study them under a microscope. These slides will then be sent to the different institutions to see if you harbor any of the known mutations.

Currently, there are more known mutations than there are treatments to match them. But, lung cancer treatments are constantly evolving and even if you do learn that you have a mutation but there is currently not a targeted therapy approved for treating it, do not be discouraged as there are other ways of treating your lung cancer. Searching for a targeted therapy is just one of the avenues in treating lung cancer. Your doctor will then discuss other treatment options.

Knowing now what mutations you harbor may help guide you as new therapies are created in the future.