Molecular testing has been a topic of interest for the CARE Lung Faculty as a personalized schematic approach to lung cancer. Treatment hinges on obtaining a diagnostic biopsy with adequate tissue for biomarker testing. Collaboration between the CARE Medical Oncology Faculty, CARE Respiratory Medicine Faculty, and the CARE Pathology Faculty has led to the consensus among participants that:
- Molecular status impacts patient outcome and influences treatment decisions
- Testing at diagnosis allows for molecular status at first presentation
To better understand the current treatment protocol for biomarker testing a national survey of Canadian specialists was conducted by CARE Faculty members Drs. Natasha Leighl, Sunil Verma, and Peter Ellis. The results of this survey then formed the basis for a poster presentation which was displayed at IASLC 2013. A suggested ‘testing at diagnosis’ algorithm was subsequently created by the CARE Faculty. This algorithm showed the collaborative effort between all of the major stakehold- ers, from the collection of the pathology sample through to its handling and processing. As a result, biomarker testing has been made more accessible at many centres across Canada.
The faculty felt it was important to provide guidance on the therapy choices available for patients once molecular status has been determined.