Hatim Husain, MD, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego, discuses must-haves for successful biomarker testing in lung cancer—in particular, non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)—and how the field is adapting to the targeted treatment needs of its patients.
In this interview from the Quality Cancer Care Alliance Summer 2022 National Leadership Summit, Hatim Husain, MD, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego, discuses must-haves for successful biomarker testing in lung cancer—in particular, non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)—and how this field of clinical research is adapting to the targeted treatment needs of its patients.
How do we improve biomarker testing in lung cancer?
Biomarker testing in lung cancer is truly a cornerstone for treatment selection in patients who have non–small cell lung cancer. Improving it really relies on a few principles. One is understanding the importance. Second is getting access to technologies that can obtain the results quickly and reliably. And third is waiting for the test results, when feasible, to inform the treatment decision.
The technologies have really expanded to include both tissue comprehensive testing, as well as plasma-, or blood-based, comprehensive testing. And there are important considerations around time to a test result, as well as comprehensiveness, that is important across each of those strategies. So it’s really important that we have these results early and up front, as now the number of targetable mutations within genes of interest are really expanding over time.
How has biomarker testing in lung cancer evolved over the last few years?
Over the last several years, there’s been additions to our armamentarium of agents that can really target specific mutations that previously were not possible. These include some atypical EGFR mutations, such as the EGFR Exon 20 insertion, KRAS G12C, which is a different mutation—which previously also had not had precision-oriented therapeutic strategies—as well as other genes, including MET and HER2, which also are on the horizon.