Dr. David Carbone, Ivy Elkins

In this biomarker testing video you will learn the answers to these questions:

1. What is a biomarker?
2. Which lung cancer biomarkers might patients have heard of before?
3. Should all lung cancer patients be tested for biomarkers?

What is a Biomarker?

Biomarkers are a feature of a cancer tumor that can be used to identify the best treatment options for a specific lung cancer patient. Biomarker (or Genomic Diagnostic) testing is key in today’s world of precision medicine. Lung cancer biomarker testing is also known as tumor testing, genetic mutation testing, next-generation sequencing (NGS) or genomic testing. It looks for changes in the DNA of tumor cells. These changes include mutations, additions, deletions, or rearrangements in the DNA. The “specific biomarkers” in the cells of a tumor can be used to determine the best course of treatment for a lung cancer patient.

Have You Heard of EGFR? KRAS? ALK?

Some of the most common biomarkers that #lungcancer patients may have heard of before include EGFR, KRAS, and ALK. Normally, cancer cells are collected from your tumor by a biopsy. Commonly, the tumor tissue can be removed through the skin with a needle.

Biomarker tests can be an effective way to diagnose and determine which treatments will best suit a lung cancer patient’s individual needs. In some cases, targeted therapies can be tailored to each patient’s specific situation and this can help avoid unnecessary treatments or side effects. However, not all lung cancers are alike and it is important for patients to speak with their oncologist about whether testing for biomarkers is suitable for them.

Should I be Tested for My Biomarkers?

At Lung Cancer Foundation of America (LCFA) we believe that informed decisions about treatments should be based on medical evidence and discussions with qualified medical professionals. We encourage all lung cancer patients to consult with their healthcare teams in order to get the best possible outcomes for their individual situations. But, we also heavily encourage all lung cancer patients to ask the question, “What is my biomarker?” The best case scenario is that the answer to this question will offer the patient an array of treatment options that will not only prolong their lives but will also help them have a satisfactory quality of life while going through treatment.