Genomic Testing Is Necessary in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

September 29, 2020

Vivek Subbiah, MD, shares his take home message regarding the treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer who harbor a RET fusion.

Vivek Subbiah, MD, of the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, shares his take home message regarding the treatment of patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who harbor a RET fusion.

The main challenge lies in identifying patients who harbor a RET fusion or alteration, says Subbiah. RET accounts for 1% to 2% of all cases of NSCLC. Testing for this in NSCLC is important now following the FDA’s recent approval of selpercatinib (Retevmo) as treatment of patients with lung cancer harboring RET alterations.

Subbiah’s main message is that NSCLC is the poster child of precision oncology. The more physicians test for, the more we find. In order to win the war against lung cancer, Subbiah says we need to completely understand the disease, and comprehensive next-generation sequencing that includes all fusions and mutations is the first step.