#CANCERSM Chat topic 11-Jul-2019: Basics of Biomarker Testing

Until just a few years ago, chemotherapy was often the only option for some cancer patients.  In just a few short years, molecular therapies and immunotherapies have become commonplace as treatments for cancer patients.  But determining whether a particular cancer patient is a candidate for these new, often very expensive, molecular and immunotherapies requires molecular biomarker testing.  For many cancer patients and their families, the role of molecular biomarker testing in their diagnosis is a unfamiliar and confusing.  How is testing performed?  How is the test result analyzed? What is involved in… Read More

#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 topic 6/14/2018: Immunotherapy–the ultimate personalized therapy

Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer care, particularly for lung cancer patients.  On Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 8 PM Eastern time (5 PM Pacific), #LCSM Chat moderator Brendon Stiles (@BrendonStilesMD) will lead our discussion on “Immunotherapy–the ultimate personalized therapy.” Over the last few years, several “checkpoint inhibitors” have been approved by the FDA for lung cancer patients.  Because these drugs essentially unleash brakes on T cells which allow each patient’s own immune system to kill their cancer cells, these drugs could be considered the ultimate personalized therapy for cancer.  In fact, these drugs… Read More