Dr. Jack West

Ask the Experts: How do you approach the question of repeat biopsies for lung cancer?

May 7th, 2013 - by Dr. Jack West

At the recent “Targeted Therapies in Lung Cancer” conference in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to ask several other lung cancer experts about their approach to repeat biopsies for lung cancer, either if a patient doesn’t have enough tissue for molecular testing at initial diagnosis, or in the setting of acquired resistance. What is the benefit? Do they consider it desirable, necessary, or neither? Are there practical barriers, such as insurance coverage, or significant safety concerns? Here are the comments from several experts on the subject:

Dr. Heather Wakelee, Stanford Univ, on the question of whether to favor a repeat biopsy at the time of initial diagnosis if a patient has insufficient tissue for molecular testing

Dr. Karen Reckamp, City of Hope Cancer Center, on recommending repeat biopsies at initial diagnosis or in setting of acquired resistance

Drs. Ross Camidge, U Colorado, and Corey Langer, U Penn, on when they recommend a repeat biopsy

Dr. Sarah Goldberg, Yale Univ, on value of repeat biopsies in setting of acquired resistance

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