Liquid Lung Biopsy
Analyzing tumor DNA in blood will offer targeted treatments best suited to a patient’s lung cancer.
Doctors at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston have developed a DNA test, called a liquid biopsy that can detect mutations in two key genes found in lung tumors.
The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center is now offering this analysis to all patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at the point of diagnosis or when the cancer comes back after treatment. The results are available in 3 days. The test involves taking a sample of blood and fishing for free-floating DNA released by dying cancer cells.
The findings by Adrian G. Sacher, MD and colleagues are published online April 7, 2016 in the journal JAMA Oncology.
The team focused on two key genes, called EGRF and KRAS, which are faulty in around a third of patients with NSCLC. Each patient also underwent a traditional tissue biopsy for comparison.