Dr. Sabari on the Role of Concurrent Molecular Testing in Lung Cancer

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Joshua K. Sabari, MD, discusses the role of concurrent plasma- and tissue-based molecular testing in lung cancer.

Joshua K. Sabari, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, discusses the role of concurrent plasma- and tissue-based molecular testing in lung cancer.

Plasma-based testing can obtain molecular information with a rapid turnaround time of around 1 week, says Sabari. Additionally, liquid biopsy can provide insight into tumor heterogeneity because it looks at potential de novo resistance mutations in the tumor profile. Although cost and insurance coverage could be a drawback of liquid biopsy, up-front concurrent plasma- and tissue-based testing is preferred to tissue-based testing alone, Sabari explains.

It is unlikely that plasma-based testing will replace tissue-based testing because tissue testing is relied on to determine disease histology, says Sabari. Additionally, tissue biopsy remains the gold standard because plasma-based next-generation sequencing is associated with a high false negative rate. Although liquid biopsies are sensitive, they are often non-diagnostic and concurrent testing with a tissue-based approach is needed, concludes Sabari.