#LCSM Chat Topic 03/07: Biomarker Magicians (or, Why We Love Pathologists)

Diagnosing the type of lung cancer from a tissue or liquid biopsy is absolutely critical to selecting treatment and determining the patient’s prognosis. However, for many lung cancer patients and their families, the role of tumor tissue in their diagnosis is a mystery. What happens to tissue collected in a biopsy? How is it analyzed? What is involved in getting helpful answers from biomarker testing?

The specialized doctors responsible for answering these questions are pathologists.  They identify any lung cancer cells in the biopsied tissue, and guide the patient’s biomarker testing. Unfortunately, pathologists do not typically speak with patients, so patients and families–and even  some doctors–often do not have a clear understanding of  the role pathologists play in their diagnosis and treatment.   Learning more about the pathologist’s role can help patients and families cut through the hype about biomarker testing and provide a better understanding of the patient’s specific disease.

Please join moderator and pathologist Dr. Timothy Craig Allen (@TimAllenMDJD) at 8 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, March 7, 2019, for a discussion about the pathologist’s role in lung cancer, a subject potentially affecting all lung cancer patients and doctors.  We will cover the following topics:

  • T1: What role does a pathologist play in diagnosing lung cancer?   How is a molecular pathologist different from a pathologist?
  • T2: What happens to tumor tissue after a biopsy?
  • T3: How does a pathologist know if a cell is cancerous? How can they tell what type of lung cancer it is (e.g., small cell vs adenocarcinoma)?
  • T4: How does a molecular pathologist decide what biomarker tests to do?
  • T5: If you have talked to your pathologist, what did you learn? If you haven’t, what would you like to learn?

Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher, read our primer on participating in the chat. Note that some tweetchat apps (like tchat.io) will not display tweets longer than 140 characters. Hope you’ll join us!

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