NGS Testing Necessary for Treatment of Lung Adenocarcinoma

September 17, 2019
Timothy F. Burns, MD, PhD

Timothy F. Burns, MD, PhD, discusses the necessary role of next-generation sequencing testing in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. In order to incorporate this into clinical practice, there is still a lot more work to be done, Burns says. Around 20% to 25% of patients with adenocarcinoma have targetable alterations.

Timothy F. Burns, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, discusses the necessary role of next-generation sequencing (NGS) testing in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. In order to incorporate this into clinical practice, there is still a lot more work to be done, Burns says. Around 20% to 25% of patients with adenocarcinoma have targetable alterations.

The University of Pittsburgh is a large referral center, so they see a lot of patients getting NGS, Burns says. However, many patients with adenocarcinoma will have limited panels performed and so they may not be tested for all necessary mutations or translocations that could help determine the best treatment.

Burns says that even panels that are sent to Foundation Medicine to be tested may not cover enough. RNA sequencing data are important for detecting fusions as well, Burns adds. He warns that if an oncologist’s institution does not have the capability to conduct fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) testing, or use other technologies, many translocations and alterations could be missed.