Determining the precise genetic mutations within an individual’s lung cancer is critical in choosing the best tailored treatment regimen for that patient. Since 2004, we have been routinely sequencing the tumor DNA for our cancer patients, and with rapidly improving technologies, we are able to quickly search for hundreds of genetic changes at once within microscopic pieces of tumor biopsies.
Among lung cancers, we have found mutations in genes like KRAS, EGFR, ALK, ROS1, RET, BRAF, HER2, NTRK1, IDH1, and PIK3CA, just to name a few. In many cases, drugs that specifically target these mutant proteins can be administered safely and effectively, resulting in substantial tumor shrinkage and cancer control. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology has been at the forefront of these groundbreaking discoveries, and our clinical trials have led to the FDA approval of several targeted therapies for lung cancer.
The Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) has been, and continues to be, a pioneer in the discovery and implementation of precision medicine in oncology.
What to Expect
When indicated, we offer comprehensive genetic testing to our patients with lung cancer. In many cases, this testing can be performed on archived biopsy tissue that was already obtained. If there is available biopsy tissue at another institution, we will have that sample sent to our Molecular Pathology department for genetic analysis.