There are two major subtypes of lung cancer: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for 85% of all cases, and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SMLC). About 60% of NSCLC are unresectable at diagnosis, hence, the poor prognosis – ten to twelve months survival when treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. Treatment options are evaluated based on the histologic subtype and the presence of mutations to determine the the best combination of molecular therapies for treatment. Ten to twenty percent of patients with NSCLC have a mutated epidermal growth factor receptor, most commonly. a deletion in the in-frame of exon 19 (around amino acid 747 to 752) or a L858R point mutation of exon 21. On June 1, 2016, the FDA approved the first blood test (liquid biopsy) companion diagnostic to determine whether these mutations are present. Continue reading
A new technology called electric field–induced release and measurement (EFIRM) is able to detect biomarkers in saliva for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The test detects circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). It is able to detect actionable EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) mutations in NSCLC patients with 100% concordance with biopsy-based genotyping, Dr Wong (study author) said, and it can detect the most common EGFR gene mutations that are treatable with TKIs (tyrosine kinase inhibitors), such as gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP) or erlotinib (Tarceva, Genentech/Roche). Continue reading
Cancers are tumors that cross the basement membrane and develop invasiveness, the ability to intravasate into blood vessels, and then to colonize and grow at distant sites. Complex heterotypic cellular interactions inside the tumor are responsible for this.