Sep 282011

37 Canadian oncologists got together in a consensus panel to talk about biomarkers and histologic subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer.

The take-home:

  • All NSCLC should be tested for the EGFR mutation, as tyrosine kinase inhibitors can prolong survival for eligible patients.
  • There is insufficient evidence to recommend routine testing for other mutations (KRAS, p53, VEGF, EML4/ALK, etc).
  • Squamous cell may have a worse prognosis than adenocarcinoma.
  • Whenever possible, get biopsy tissue from a solid tumor, rather than just cytology, to enhance yield of subtyping.

Ellis P et al. A Systematic Review and Canadian Consensus Recommendations on the Use of Biomarkers in the Treatment of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. J Thorac Oncol 2011;6:1379-1391.

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NSCLC: Use of biomarkers in prognosis, treatment