Dr. Jett on Debates on Molecular Testing for Lung Cancer

James R. Jett, MD
Published: Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016



James R. Jett, MD, professor of Medicine Emeritus, National Jewish Health, discusses the most frequent debates surrounding molecular testing for patients with lung cancer.

It is uncertain how much molecular testing practitioners should do on one individual patient, Jett explains. Simpler assays will test for EGFR, ALK, or ROS1, which are targets that can be treated with specific agents. However, the NCCN suggest using a larger panel of at least 6 genes for patients. In some practices, it may be more cost-effective to conduct next-generation sequencing.

If there is a smaller amount of tissue, it may be easier to just undergo the 3-gene panel. If all tests come back negative, then patients will need to undergo a second biopsy, he adds.


James R. Jett, MD, professor of Medicine Emeritus, National Jewish Health, discusses the most frequent debates surrounding molecular testing for patients with lung cancer.

It is uncertain how much molecular testing practitioners should do on one individual patient, Jett explains. Simpler assays will test for EGFR, ALK, or ROS1, which are targets that can be treated with specific agents. However, the NCCN suggest using a larger panel of at least 6 genes for patients. In some practices, it may be more cost-effective to conduct next-generation sequencing.

If there is a smaller amount of tissue, it may be easier to just undergo the 3-gene panel. If all tests come back negative, then patients will need to undergo a second biopsy, he adds.

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