Similar Gene Alterations Found in Primary and Metastatic Lung Cancer

Micrograph of squamous carcinoma, a type of no...
Micrograph of squamous carcinoma, a type of non-small-cell carcinoma. FNA specimen. Pap stain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has historically been assumed that tumor recurrence for non-small cell lung cancer was the result of significant molecular changes between the primary cancer and the associated metastases (distant spread).

The Study: Stephane Vignot, MD and colleagues looked at specimens from 15 patients with recurrent disease. DNA libraries were constructed for the 30 tumor samples (primary and associated metastasis)/ The goal was to compae the 2 biopsies and to identify “driver” and “passenger” mutations.

Results: There was a high concordance (agreement) of recurrent changes when comparing primary lung cancer and its associated metastasis (94%).

My take: We need bigger studies before we give up the common practice of getting a biopsy of the first site of recurrence. The application of high-throughput sequencing may lead to new targets or markers for guiding individualized therapies. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

J Clinical Oncology 2013 Apr 29 [epub ahead of print], PMID: 23630207

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

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