15th April 2016
Three studies have been presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva that has confirmed the positive results of using plasma genotyping to predict treatment benefits in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
However, using plasma tests will not be replacing tissue biopsies, which are still more effective at determining treatments.
Although tissue biopsies are standard, 20 per cent of NSCLC patients aren't able to go through with this small procedure.
As a result, plasma is an alternative that allows medical staff to test for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations to work out whether or not a patient will be viable for EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.
Using this plasma genotyping, doctors will be able to extract circulating tumour DNA in a way that is less invasive than a biopsy.
Dr Nicola Normanno, chief of the Cell Biology and Biotherapy Unit at INT-Fondazione Pascale in Italy and author of one of the studies, said: "Further studies are required to confirm these findings and identify potential underlying biological mechanisms - the age finding in particular is interesting."
In the tests, it as found that EGFR mutation detection in plasma was much higher in patients who were aged less than 65 years old.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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