Dr. Stinchcombe on Molecular Testing in ALK+ NSCLC | OncLive

Dr. Stinchcombe on Molecular Testing in ALK+ NSCLC

January 22, 2020

Thomas E. Stinchcombe, MD, discusses the importance of molecular testing in ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer.

Thomas E. Stinchcombe, MD, professor of medicine, Duke Cancer Institute, discusses the importance of molecular testing in ALK-positive non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Circulating tumor DNA can be used to detect ALK rearrangements. However, the sensitivity of the assay could lead to false negative results. As such, if there is a high clinical suspicion of an ALK rearrangement, a second biopsy may be warranted to eliminate the potential for false negative results, explains Stinchcombe.

All patients should receive molecular testing up front as the results may guide treatment selection, says Stinchcombe. The majority of patients with an ALK rearrangement will receive a TKI up front. If patients do not require immediate therapy, chemotherapy should be delayed until the results of the biopsy come back to ensure that the optimal therapy is given, concludes Stinchcombe.


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