Cancer diagnosis for solid tumors has traditionally relied on biopsied tumor tissue. For patients already diagnosed with lung cancer, blood-based liquid biopsies are increasingly being used to look for bits of tumor proteins or DNA that can help identify suitable treatment options. The US FDA has even approved two liquid biopsies that can detect actionable mutations in lung cancer.
However, there are several liquid biopsies technologies, and researchers are exploring whether those could be used to answer other questions in the cancer space, such as:
- Early detection: Is cancer present? If so, where is it?
- Treatment monitoring: Is my treatment working? Is my cancer growing or spreading?
- Prognosis: Is there any cancer remaining after treatment? Am I at high risk for a cancer recurrence? Might I benefit from further treatment?
Some liquid biopsy products that might answer these kinds of questions are in development, and may soon receive regulatory approval.
- Charu Aggarwal, MD, MPH, (@CharuAggarwalMD) is the Leslye M. Heisler Associate Professor for Lung Cancer Excellence at Penn Medicine. Her clinical research focus is on the development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches, and the discovery and application of biomarkers to guide therapy and monitor treatment.
- Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH, (@LeciaSequist) is the Landry Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for Innovation in Early Cancer Detection at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research focuses on studying targeted therapeutics for lung cancer and bringing new non-invasive tests like circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA to treat and detect lung cancer.
Please join us on Thursday, March 4th, at 8 pm Eastern Time (5 pm Pacific) to address the following topics:
- T1. What are the different methods of liquid biopsy (liquid Bx)? What are the advantages and pitfalls of each?
- T2. How might liquid Bx be used for treatment monitoring and detecting disease progression?
- T3. How might liquid biopsy be used for prognosis or to measure cancer remaining after treatment?
- T4. How might liquid biopsy be used for early detection of cancer?
Please join us, and bring your experiences and wisdom! Remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can read a primer on participating in the chat here. We look forward to chatting with you!
Check out @Wakelet summary of this chat. You can click on tweets or links, or download as pdf.
Well, we finally moved on to 2021, only to be thrust seemingly backward to #WCLC20! The incredible content from #WCLC20 was certainly worth the wait. Although we didn’t get to experience the meeting live together in Singapore, a new virtual platform brought it all to us in the comfort of our own homes. Several topics discussed at #WCLC20 stood out and deserve a deeper dive within the #LCSM community.
There was a great deal of buzz about the TALENT study from Taiwan which looked at lung cancer screening in never or light smokers. Many in the lung cancer community, particularly many of those patients with actionable molecular alterations, have long been frustrated by the lack of opportunity for screening in never smokers. Perhaps TALENT and some other work presented at #WCLC20 may get us closer to broader screening criteria.
Another topic which continues to generate excitement is using targeted therapy to treat lung cancer patients whose tumors harbor KRAS mutations. We learned more about some of these drugs at #WCLC20 and are beginning to understand how they fit into the treatment landscape.
We also saw progress reported in mesothelioma and small cell lung cancer, two subtypes of lung cancer for which we have fewer therapeutic options. The CONFIRM trial in mesothelioma and several presentations on small cell lung cancer were highlighted, getting us closer to personalized, biomarker driven treatments in these challenging diseases.
Strong patient voices were also represented at #WCLC20. This included input into what clinical trials should look like in 2020 and beyond. There was great discussion on the need to make clinical trials more patient centric, a topic which is undoubtedly important to the #lcsm community.
Finally, there was a great session on “Affordable and Accessible Lung Cancer Care” and a press conference focused on overcoming disparities of care. Clearly, these are critical issues for our community and for the world moving forward. We have to ensure that all patients, no matter their race, location, or socioeconomic status are able to access and take advantage of the incredible advances we have made in lung cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and care.
With those highlights in mind, thoracic surgeon Dr. Brendon Stiles (@BrendonStilesMD) is excited to moderate this week’s #LCSM Chat. Please join us on Thursday, February 4th, at 8 pm Eastern Time (5 pm Pacific) to address the following topics:
- T1. Can and should we screen for lung cancer in never smokers?
- T2. How will KRAS inhibitors fit into the treatment of lung cancer?
- T3. What is new in mesothelioma and small cell lung cancer?
- T4. How can we make clinical trials better and more patient centric?
- T5. How can we improve access to and affordability of lung cancer care?
Please join us, and bring your experiences and wisdom! Remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. You can read a primer on participating in the chat here.