John L. Marshall, MD, discusses the importance of molecular testing in gastrointestinal cancers.
John L. Marshall, MD, chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, professor of medicine and oncology, and director, Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancer, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the importance of molecular testing in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.
The molecular characteristics of GI cancers should be identified early in the course of treatment, says Marshall. Additionally, it is understood that these cancers are polyclonal, explains Marshall. When provided the opportunity, testing should be repeated.
Liquid biopsies to look for mechanisms of resistance in GI cancers have not yet been fully adopted, explains Marshall. However, as the utility of liquid biopsy grows, changes in resistance patterns are likely to be identified.
Although current guidelines do not require repeat testing, it could have a positive effect on the management of patients with GI cancers, Marshall concludes.