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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Pitfalls in Lung Cancer Molecular Pathology: How to Limit them in Routine Practice?

Author(s): M. Ilie and P. Hofman

Volume 19, Issue 16, 2012

Page: [2638 - 2651] Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/092986712800493002

Price: $65


New treatment options in advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) targeting activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations and other genetic alterations demonstrated the clinical significance of the molecular features of specific subsets of tumors. Therefore, the development of personalized medicine has stimulated the routine integration into pathology departments of somatic mutation testing. However, clinical mutation testing must be optimized and standardized with regard to histological profile, type of samples, pre-analytical steps, methodology and result reporting. Routine molecular testing in NSCLC is currently moving beyond EGFR mutational analysis. Recent progress of targeted therapies will require molecular testing for a wide panel of mutations for a personalized molecular diagnosis. As a consequence, efficient testing of multiple molecular abnormalities is an urgent requirement in thoracic oncology. Moreover, increasingly limited tumor sample becomes a major challenge for molecular pathology. Continuous efforts should be made for safe, effective and specific molecular analyses. This must be based on close collaboration between the departments involved in the management of lung cancer. In this review we explored the practical issues and pitfalls surrounding the routine implementation of molecular testing in NSCLC in a pathology laboratory.

Keywords: Molecular testing, non small cell lung carcinoma, pathology, pitfalls, EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, ALK, targeted therapy, quality assurance

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