Barriers to Biomarker Testing

You can’t have precision medicine without access to precision diagnostics.

Non-small cell lung cancer is at the forefront of precision medicine — at least 10 genes have been identified for adenocarcinoma and others are being discovered for squamous cell carcinoma. Targeted therapies, either already approved or under clinical investigation, exist for most of these mutations.

However, lung cancer patients are unable to avail themselves of these latest treatments in the absence of biomarker testing for their cancer.

With continued progress in targeted therapies for lung cancer, LUNGevity seeks to ensure that all patients have access to multiplex biomarker testing (testing for multiple genes at the same time) offered to them at the time of diagnosis.

Our ultimate aim is to ensure that every lung cancer patient has access to the right treatment at the right time—through timely biomarker testing.

In conjunction with LUNGevity’s Take Aim initiative, LUNGevity’s Patient FoRCe seeks to understand patients’ knowledge about biomarker testing, clarify misconceptions, and implement change.

Recent studies

Language Audit: Evidence suggests that, in spite of the progress being made, only a subset of eligible patients is benefiting from targeted therapies. As a first step to overcome the complexity of the issue, LUNGevity sought to understand what terms are being used to convey information around molecular testing. An audit was conducted of the online communications of 28 companies and organizations, and patients were interviewed. View the results of the audit.

Messaging Audit: All stakeholders audited in the Language Audit agreed on the importance of a more unified voice and message to help the medical community and patients. The Message Audit includes an inventory of the components (WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, WHO, and HOW) of education materials used by patient advocacy groups, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies, to discuss the importance of biomarker testing with patients and healthcare providers.