Standardizing biomarker testing for Canadian patients with advanced lung cancer

B. Melosky, N. Blais, P. Cheema, C. Couture, R. Juergens, S. Kamel-Reid, M.-S. Tsao, P. Wheatley-Price, Z. Xu, D.N. Ionescu



The development and approval of both targeted and immune therapies for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (nsclc) has significantly improved patient survival rates and quality of life. Biomarker testing for patients newly diagnosed with nsclc, as well as for patients progressing after treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors, is the standard of care in Canada and many parts of the world.


A group of thoracic oncology experts in the field of thoracic oncology met to describe the standard for biomarker testing for lung cancer in the Canadian context, focusing on evidence-based recommendations for standardof-care testing for EGFR, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), ROS1, BRAF V600 and programmed death-ligand (PDL1) at the time of diagnosis of advanced disease and EGFR T790M upon progression. As well, additional exploratory molecules and targets are likely to impact future patient care, including MET exon 14 skipping mutations and whole gene amplification, RET translocations, HER2 (ERBB2) mutations, NTRK, RAS (KRAS and NRAS), as well as TP53.


The standard of care must include the incorporation of testing for novel biomarkers as they become available, as it will be difficult for national guidelines to keep pace with technological advances in this area.


Canadian patients with nsclc should be treated equally; the minimum standard of care is defined in this paper.


Biomarker testing; lung cancer; EGFR; ALK; ROS1; BRAF V600X; MET; PD-L1; Canada

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)