Summary: This article discusses recent clinical research showing the benefits of genomic testing (biomarker testing) for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Genomic testing analyzes the DNA of a tumor to identify specific gene mutations that are driving cancer growth. This information helps guide targeted therapy selection. The research found that NSCLC patients who received genomic testing had improved overall survival compared to untested patients. Testing identified actionable mutations in over half of cases. Patients with actionable mutations who received matched targeted therapies had the best outcomes. The researchers conclude that genomic testing should be standard practice for NSCLC patients because it enables personalized medicine through mutation-matched targeted therapies. Wider adoption of testing is critical to improving patient survival. They encourage testing even when tissue samples are limited, as new sensitive testing technology can produce results from very small biopsies. In summary, recent studies demonstrate genomic testing improves treatment selection and survival rates for NSCLC patients. The research underscores the importance of making genomic testing standard clinical practice for lung cancer.

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute

Cancer patients who receive molecular testing results prior to beginning first-line treatment for metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) appear to live longer, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and published recently in JCO Precision Oncology.

The study was conducted through the utilization of electronic medical records from 326 adults, including patients of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), who were newly diagnosed with NSCLC between January 2019 and December 2020. Of these patients, 80 percent had the results of molecular testing performed on tissue or blood samples before starting treatment. The study concluded that patients who had testing results available prior to first-line treatment survived nearly four times longer than patients who did not. According to the published report, “Median overall survival among patients with available test results was 24.6 months compared to 6.2 months for those without results.”

Molecular testing can identify genetic mutations and biomarkers that help to determine certain targeted treatments deemed most effective in treating particular cancers.