Ashish Saxena, MD, PhD, discusses the importance of biomarker testing for stage IV ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer.
Ashish Saxena, MD, PhD, assistant attending physician, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, assistant professor of medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, discusses the importance of biomarker testing in stage IV ALK-positive non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Since the emergence of targeted therapy for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC, biomarker testing has become increasingly relevant, says Saxena. Testing is the only way to determine if patients have an ALK mutation.
Multiple testing options exist including immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and next-generation sequencing, explains Saxena. Often, testing for an array of mutations with broad panels is done as opposed to testing for individual ALK mutations.
Emerging data suggests a patient’s specific ALK fusion may predict future mutations which could potentially guide treatment selection, concludes Saxena.