What is Biomarker Testing?
Lung cancer treatment includes a number of targeted therapies and driver mutations as well as immunotherapy to provide substantial benefits to the patients. To help doctors know the type of treatment for lung cancer required a type of testing and it is called biomarker testing. In biomarker testing, it determines the presence of particular mutations or of a particular protein.
Why is it Important for Lung Cancer Patients?
Biomarkers are basically pieces of DNA, proteins or hormones that cancer cells release or that the body releases in response to cancer. Not every treatment works in same manner to every patient and this aroused the need for biomarker testing. Now, there are targeted treatments based on biomarkers. Your doctor can also use biomarkers to diagnose lung cancer and find out how quickly it might grow. The results of these tests help to determine whether any FDA-approved lung cancer targeted therapies or a particular immunotherapy drug is part of patient’s treatment plan.
What are the types of biomarkers?
There are basically two types of biomarkers that help in optimizing patient’s treatment plan. This includes driver mutations and immunotherapy biomarkers. Scientists are continuing to identify different driver mutations found in SCLC and NSCLC. PD-L1 is a protein biomarker used to determine the likely benefit with a type of immunotherapy drug called an immune checkpoint inhibitor. These drugs help the patient’s own immune system to fight the cancer. Patients with high-level of PD-L1 are more likely to respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
When is Biomarker Testing Used?
Biomarker testing comes out to be beneficial in cases where the doctor suspect lung cancer and recommended a biopsy. It is useful for patients already diagnosed with this disease. It is also helpful when a patient’s lung cancer reoccurs after treatment.
The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare team for any medical issues.