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Present and Future Molecular Testing of Lung Carcinoma

Dacic, Sanja MD, PhD; Nikiforova, Marina N. MD

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: March 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 2 - p 94–99
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0000000000000012
Review Articles

The rapid development of targeted therapies has tremendously changed clinical management of lung carcinoma patients and set the stage for similar developments in other tumor types. Many studies have been published in the past decade in search for the most acceptable method of assessment for predictors of response to targeted therapies in lung cancer. As a result, several guidelines for molecular testing have been published in a past couple of years. Because of accumulated evidence that targetable drugs show the best efficacy and improved progression survival rates in lung cancer patients whose tumors have a specific genotype, molecular testing for predictors of therapy response has became standard of care. Presently, testing for EGFR mutations and ALK rearrangements in lung adenocarcinoma has been standardized. The landscape of targetable genomic alterations in lung carcinoma is expanding, but none of other potentially targetable biomarkers have been standardized outside of clinical trials. This review will summarize current practice of molecular testing. Future methods in molecular testing of lung carcinoma will be briefly reviewed.

Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: Sanja Dacic, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology—PUH C608, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 200 Lothrop St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (e-mail: figures can be viewed online in color at

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.