Dr. Pennell on Importance of EGFR Testing in NSCLC

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Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, associate professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, discusses the importance of testing patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to determine if they harbor the EGFR mutation, as well as the agents available to target that genetic abnormality.

Nathan Pennell, MD, PhD, associate professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, discusses the importance of testing patients with non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to determine if they harbor the EGFR mutation, as well as the agents available to target that genetic abnormality.

Patients should always be tested for EGFR in the first-line setting, Pennell explains. Additionally, patients should not be treated with an EGFR-targeted agent unless they have the mutation. If they do have the mutation, gefitinib (Iressa), erlotinib (Tarceva), and afatinib (Gilotrif) are the 3 targeted agents available for this population.

For patients who acquire resistance to an EGFR TKI and harbor the T790M resistance mutation, they may be able to receive treatment with the well-tolerated agent osimertinib (Tagrisso). Patients must be biopsied to determine whether they have the T790M mutation, he adds.

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