Biomarker Testing: A Game Changer in Lung Cancer Care


Doctor and Patient

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness about lung cancer. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for nearly 25% of all cancer deaths. Unfortunately, many lung cancers are not diagnosed until they are at an advanced stage, when symptoms typically appear. Biomarker testing has been transformative in lung cancer treatment, allowing doctors to connect patients to the most effective treatment for their patients.

What is biomarker testing?

  • In cancer care, biomarkers are often used to help determine the best treatment for a patient.

  • A “biomarker” is a characteristic of blood, tissue or other specimen that provides insight into bodily processes, medical conditions, or diseases.

  • Biomarker testing is the analysis of a patient’s tissue, blood or other biospecimen for the presence of a biomarker.

Why does biomarker testing matter to lung cancer?

  • Biomarker testing is an important step for accessing precision medicine including targeted therapies that can lead to improved survivorship and better quality of life for cancer patients.

  • Biomarker testing is critically important in non-small cell lung cancer, and targeted treatments for lung cancer have paved the way for broader use of biomarker testing in treating other cancer types.

  • Recent studies show that biomarker testing may improve outcomes for patients with hard-to-treat-cancer types such as lung cancer.

    • Specifically, the use of targeted therapy, has been associated with a more favorable outcome in advanced non-small cell lung cancer, with a 31 percent reduction in risk of death and improved survival duration that was about 1.5-fold longer compared to patients with an identified mutational driver but did not receive targeted therapy.

Stories: How does biomarker testing change the course of treatment in lung cancer?



Biomarker testing is the latest advanced in cancer research that is personal to the patient and their cancer, helping ensure patients get the right treatment at the right time. Biomarker testing allows doctors to precisely target a cancer, so patients may not have to undergo more generalized treatments like chemo

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