Biomarkers provide information that can help doctors develop individualized treatment plans for certain patients. But molecular testing is the only way to find out if your cancer has a biomarker. 1
Your doctor may order this testing when you undergo a biopsy to determine your type of lung cancer.2-4 If you’re not sure your tumor has been tested, or if you haven’t had a biopsy, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
When Should You Get Tested?
You may be tested at any point in your diagnosis and treatment. For instance, your treatment team may decide to test after you have been diagnosed but before you start treatment. That way, the test may help to determine which treatment options exist for your type of tumor.
If you have already begun treatment, your original biopsy or a new sample might be tested to determine additional treatment options. Additional tests may be necessary in cases where you have stopped responding to certain treatments.
What’s Involved in Testing?
If your doctor orders a molecular profile of your tumor, a sample of your tumor tissue will be sent to a special lab. There your tissue will be tested for molecular biomarkers — the distinctive fingerprints of gene mutations inside tumor cells that may cause them to be cancerous.
Testing positive for biomarkers could lead to a treatment for your particular type of cancer, or could provide other important clues about your disease. It could also determine your eligibility for clinical trials.1,4,5 Talk to your doctor about which clinical trials, if any, might be right for you. Use our Interactive Discussion Guide to get started.
Tissue from a previous procedure may be used for this laboratory testing, or your doctor may decide to order a new biopsy of your tumor.
Talk to your doctor and ask if molecular profiling is right for you. The Interactive Discussion Guide on the next page can help you start the conversation.