Plasma Testing Approaches for Lung Cancer

October 7, 2013
Tony S.K. Mok, BMSc, MD, FRCPC

Tony S.K. Mok, BMSc, MD, FRCPC, professor, Department of Clinical Oncology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital Hong Kong, China, discusses different plasma testing approaches for patients with lung cancer.

Tony S.K. Mok, BMSc, MD, FRCPC, professor, Department of Clinical Oncology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital Hong Kong, China, discusses different plasma testing approaches for patients with lung cancer.

Clinical Pearls

Mok says that a physician has the option to conduct a plasma test when the diagnosis is being made. By the time the lung cancer diagnosis is confirmed, a physician will have plasma testing results available. If the test is positive, treatment can begin, but if it is negative, a physician can subject the tumor for testing. If good tissue cannot be obtained for testing, a physician can use plasma as a testing method. However, Mok says, physicians should be aware that plasma test sensitivity is only 76%.

  • If a plasma test is positive, treatment can begin
  • If a plasma test is negative, a physician can subject the tumor for testing
  • Plasma test sensitivity is only 76%