#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,… Read More

#LCSM Chat 11/29: What’s a cancer model, and why should I care?

Once your take cancer cells out of a living body, the cancer cells die, right?  So how researchers study cancer? One way researchers study cancer is by using “cancer models.”  Cancer models are clumps of living cancer cells that exist either in a lab dish (see image above), or in animal models such as mice. Sometimes these models also include other living cells from the host environment.  It’s not exactly the same as studying a living cancer in its human host, but it does allow researchers time to study the biology of a cancer… Read More

#LCSM Chat Topic 5/3/18:  What Defines a “Quality” #LungCancer Treatment Center?  Thoughts from the Frontline

Our topic for the #LCSM Tweet Chat on Thursday, May 3rd (5 PM Pacific/8 PM Eastern) is “What Defines a “Quality” #LungCancer Treatment Center?  Thoughts from the Frontline.” The moderator for this chat is Dr. David Tom Cooke (@DavidCookeMD). Recently the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced it would cover next-generation sequencing (NGS) for US patients with stage III or IV lung cancer when ordered by a physician and performed in a CLIA-certified laboratory.  This decision makes broad genomic testing to available to many more patients.  Having increased access to… Read More