Dr. Hirsch on the Expansion of Molecular Testing in Lung Cancer


Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, discusses the expansion of molecular testing in lung cancer.

Fred R. Hirsch, MD, PhD, executive director in the Center for Thoracic Oncology at The Tisch Cancer Institute and the Joe Lowe and Louis Price professor of medicine (hematology and medical oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, discusses the expansion of molecular testing in lung cancer.

Genetic and genomic testing has expanded quickly over the past few years, Hirsch explains. There are emerging technologies to test for biomarkers and an increasing number of actionable targets in lung cancer. It is crucial that all patients with adenocarcinoma and not otherwise specified lung cancer receive testing for molecular characteristics, according to Hirsch, who has been involved in creating the molecular testing guidelines for The College of American Pathologists, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Association for Molecular Pathology.

Small cell lung cancers and squamous cell carcinomas, on the other hand, are not routinely tested in clinical practice but are usually tested in academic centers, says Hirsch. However, an exception to this practice is younger patients who have no smoking history and those with squamous histology; these subgroups should undergo molecular testing, concludes Hirsch.

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