The Importance of Biomarker Testing in the Treatment of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Podcast

Fred R. Hirsch, Chul Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


The identification of actionable biomarkers and development of targeted therapies have revolutionized the field of lung cancer treatment. In patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), biomarker testing can inform selection of effective targeted therapies as well as avoid therapies that are less likely to be effective in certain populations. A growing number of actionable targets, including those involving EGFR, ALK, ROS1, BRAF, MET, KRAS, NTRK, RET, HER2, and PD-L1, can be identified with biomarker testing. More than half of patients with advanced NSCLC have tumors that harbor genetic alterations that can be targeted. When these patients are treated with targeted therapy, survival and quality of life may be significantly improved. In addition, broad-based molecular testing may detect alterations identifying patients who are potentially eligible for current or future clinical trials. Comprehensive biomarker testing rates in communities are often low, and turnaround times for results can be unacceptably long. There is an unmet need for widespread, efficient, and routine testing of all biomarkers recommended by clinical guidelines. New testing techniques and technologies can make this an attainable goal. Panel-based sequencing platforms are becoming more accessible, and molecular biomarker analysis of circulating tumor DNA is becoming more common. In this podcast, we discuss the importance of biomarker testing in advanced NSCLC and explore topics such as testing methodologies, effect of biomarker testing on patient outcomes, emerging technologies, and strategies for improving testing rates in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOncology and Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Biomarker testing
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Targeted therapy


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