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Expert Explains Limitations of Molecular Profiling in Lung Cancer

Caroline Seymour
Published: Thursday, Aug 09, 2018

Dara L. Aisner, MD, PhD

Dara L. Aisner, MD, PhD

Though testing for molecular abnormalities can determine a course of treatment for patients with non–small cell lung cancer, it can also muddle their treatment options if not examined properly, explained Dara L. Aisner, MD, PhD.

State of the Science Summit™ on Advanced Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer, Aisner, an associate professor in the department of Pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, discussed the rapidly progressing field of molecular profiling, the importance of understanding assay results, and how they translate to patient care in lung cancer.

OncLive: What did your presentation on molecular profiling focus on?

Aisner: Some of the things that I wanted to [express] in my presentation are understanding the limitations of testing and understanding that no test is perfect.

Another point is that technologies are evolving very rapidly. What is exciting and interesting today is not going to be what we're talking about in a few years. There's a balance to be had between jumping for a test because it's new and “hot,” versus going for data that are well established. There's a real middle ground in between those 2 extremes.

Can you elaborate on some of the cases you consulted on?

A lot of this has to do with the fact that this is a relatively new area for oncologists. When many people who are in practice now went to medical school, this was not part of practice. It's something that we are incorporating into the training of oncologists today, but even in that setting the technology is so complex.
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Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Advances in™ Therapies for Patients With ALK-Positive Lung Cancers: More Options…More Decisions…Better OutcomesAug 30, 20191.5
Oncology Briefings™: Treating Advanced NSCLC Without Actionable MutationsAug 30, 20191.0
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