Expert panel issues new guidelines for lung cancer molecular testing
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IMAGE: Dara Aisner, MD, PhD, and colleagues update recommendations for lung cancer molecular testing. view more 

Credit: University of Colorado Cancer Center

Lung cancer treatment often pairs targeted therapies with genetic alterations driving the disease. This makes detecting these genetic alterations an essential step in diagnosis. In 2013, an expert panel made up of members of the College of American Pathologists, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Association for Molecular Pathology published guidelines describing the genetic tests that should be performed to evaluate a patient’s lung cancer. Now a similar expert panel updates these guidelines.

“There have been important changes since 2013. We’re discovering new genetic alterations driving lung cancer, new drugs to target these alterations, and are refining our use of tests to find these alterations in individual patients,” says Dara Aisner, MD, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, molecular pathologist at CU School of Medicine Department of Pathology, and one of the panel experts.

One major change is the recommendation to test for alterations to the gene ROS1 in all cases of lung adenocarcinoma, which make up about half of all cases of non-small cell lung cancer. The recommendation

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