Review Article

Liquid Biopsy for Guiding Treatment Decisions in Advanced Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer

Gretchen Suk, DMSc, PA-C

From Guardant Health, Inc., Palo Alto, California, and University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Virginia

Author’s disclosure of conflict of interest is found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Gretchen D. Suk, DMSc, PA-C, 3100 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304. E-mail: gsuk14@gmail.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2022;13(8):790–795 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2022.13.8.5 | © 2022 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The 5-year survival rates are poor with traditional therapy alone. New scientific advances in technology involving the human genome, including diagnostic tools to inform on tumor-derived acquired (somatic) mutations that drive cancer formation, are essential to utilize. Targeting cancer cells paired with actionable drugs to shut off growth pathways has significantly improved patient survival. Obtaining mutational analysis can be performed via traditional methods such as tissue; new advances allow comparable information obtained through liquid biopsy to inform targeted treatment decision-making. Getting tissue for additional molecular analysis can pose several challenges for patients. Liquid biopsy is a minimally invasive test (typically blood) analyzed by next-generation sequencing for tumor shed to obtain actionable information for treatment decisions. Analyses between blood and tissue consistently yield high concordance, with liquid biopsy providing faster turnaround time for results than tissue. The utility of liquid biopsy is well proven but not standardized and cannot diagnose lung cancer histopathology, which requires a tissue diagnosis.




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