September 25, 2018 – Genetic Analysis and Lung Cancer


Anchor lead: Does it help to have a complete genetic assessment when it comes to lung cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Lung cancer is often the result of known mutations abbreviated EGFR and ALK, and these are routinely tested for around the country. Now a new study suggests that a more complete genetic assessment really doesn’t add much and is much more expensive. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Nelson: I think that it hints that there are things that are being used in the community the stuff that’s being used  is the meat and potatoes stuff that drives the drugs that we know about. I suspect that broad based genetic testing of cancers will become more and more common because it will be easier to do, more accessible. And the number of drugs that may be helpful will increase over time. I think the cost is going to go down. :20

Nelson notes that broad based testing is often a part of clinical trials.

Nelson: It’s clearly worth testing for the EGFR and ALK mutations. I think still for lung cancer it’s worthwhile thinking about participating in a clinical trial.  :09

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.