The Accuracy and Availability of Genetic Testing for Lung Cancer

October 11, 2013
David P. Carbone, MD, PhD

David P. Carbone, MD, PhD, describes variations in the accuracy and availability of genetic testing technologies for patients with lung cancer.

David P. Carbone, MD, PhD, a professor in the Division of Medical Oncology at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, describes variations in the accuracy and availability of genetic testing technologies for patients with lung cancer.

Across the country, there is not only uneven access to genetic testing but also variations in accuracy, explains Carbone. Each test for EGFR is not the same, as some exclude rare mutations. As such, there is currently a transition under way in genetic testing.

Despite this transition, immunohistochemistry may be a better approach in some situations, since it can focus more on the protein. The ideal test, Carbone notes, would focus on the protein, since this is generally what is targeted by treatment. However, at this point, protein-specific data and tests are less developed than genetic testing.

Clinical Pearls

  • Across the country, there is uneven access to genetic testing as well as variations in accuracy
  • Immunohistochemistry may be a better approach in some situations, since it can focus more on the protein, but protein-specific data and tests are less developed than genetic testing