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The Role of Molecular Driver Identification Continues to Expand in NSCLC

Benjamin P. Levy, MD
Published Online:9:32 PM, Wed January 22, 2020

Benjamin P. Levy, MD, clinical director of medical oncology and associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC, discusses the evolution of molecular drivers in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) over the last few years and which testing should be included in patients with NSCLC.

Levy says research has come a long way in terms of the molecular driver identification in NSCLC. Initially, it started with testing for EGFR and ALK in patients with advanced adenocarcinoma of the lung, but now there are a number of mutations that we can test for, including RET, ROS1, BRAF, HER2, MET exon 14 skipping, NTRK, and KRAS. If these mutations are identified, patients can be treated with a targeted therapy that has been approved by the FDA or is under the umbrella of a clinical trial.

The list continues to grow in terms of actionable mutations that should be tested for, Levy says. He says this is a call for comprehensive genomic profiling for lung cancer. More testing should be done outside of sequential EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and BRAF. Larger panels can be used to identify all of the mutations necessary at this time to improve outcomes for patients with NSCLC harboring 1 of these mutations.

For more from Levy's interview with Targeted Oncology: 
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