Bio-markers & Molecular Testing
It is important for patients to know and understand their tumour type because it informs their treatment options.
During diagnosis, there are two types of tests which can be done to test for certain changes (mutations) to the genes of the cancer cells; a biopsy which involves removing tissue from the tumour to be tested; and a blood test, known as a liquid biopsy or plasma test. These markers can predict how well a non-small cell cancer may respond to specific treatments and help your doctor to determine what treatment will work best for you.
There are many common tumour types, but the most common mutations for non-small cell lung cancer are:
- The best time to talk to your doctor about tumour testing is before a biopsy is done
- Tell your doctor you want to talk about comprehensive genomic testing
- If your tumour wasn’t tested before you started treatment, it might not be too late—ask your doctor about testing leftover tissue or doing a liquid biopsy (blood draw)
- Has a sample of my tumour been sent for molecular testing?
- What (if any) mutations were found in my biopsy sample?
- What are my treatment options? Am I a candidate for bio-marker testing?
- Should my cancer be tested for other mutations?
- What is the goal of targeted therapy?