Dr. Sequist on the Importance of Broad Molecular Testing in Lung Cancer

Lecia V. Sequist, MD, MPH, discusses the importance of implementing broad molecular testing in lung cancer.

Lecia V. Sequist, MD, MPH, the Landry Family Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and director, Center for Innovation in Early Cancer Detection, Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the importance of implementing broad molecular testing in lung cancer.

Historically, molecular testing in lung cancer has mainly sought out EGFR and ALK alterations to inform treatment decisions, explains Sequist. However, other mutations have been shown to play critical roles in treatment selection as well. As such, patients who present with metastatic or advanced stage disease should undergo broad panel genetic testing to potentially detect less common alterations, such as HER2ROSRETMET, and BRAF, Sequist says.

Notably, HER2 mutations are commonly found in the exon 20 section of the gene and has an analogous protein structure to EGFR. As such, patients with HER2 mutations are often treated with similar agents asthose used for patients with EGFR exon 20 mutations. Moreover, the therapies have shown activity in both genotypes, Sequist concludes.