Avoiding Needless Testing in NSCLC Treatment

With the emphasis on testing for biomarkers to determine treatment for patients with lung cancer, it's important to make sure the testing will have an impact on clinical decisions.

Biomarkers are starting to become a fixture in how oncologists determine the treatment of patients with lung cancer. Yet for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), these biomarkers are not as reliable and it’s important for oncology professionals not to order needless tests, according to Taofeek Owonikoko, MD, PhD, MSCR.

Owonikoko, professor of hematology-oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, had the chance to speak with OncLive®, a sister publication to Oncology Nursing News®, at the 14th Annual New York Lung Cancers Symposium on why testing for this patient group must be considered carefully.


I think we have to balance a lot of things, our curiosity for new options of treatment for patients, the cost of doing tests, and then the value that we bring to the patient by doing such tests. There is no point doing a test if we're not going to use that test to make any conscious decision about the patient.

In terms of standard profiling of small cell lung cancer patients, I would rather like to see a more systematic approach of profiling patients and sending that tissue sample because we don't have anything else to do.

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