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My name is Ed, and I am a new member. I am two and a half years into treatment for stage 3 non small cell lung cancer, and the majority of my treatment has been chemotherapy. The one exception was a recent decision by my oncologist to try one of the new immunotherapy drugs, Tecentriq, which proved ineffective. Then it began to dawn on me that I know little to nothing about genomic and biomarker testing to determine which of the new immunology drugs might be effective in my case. For example, I do not know my EGFR or ALK status. By way of addressing that lack of information, I have requested a needle biopsy to get the ball rolling. Is that a good idea, and are there other avenues I should be exploring?.My problem early-on was lack of information and not asking enough questions. Any words of wisdom out there for a late bloomer?



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Hell Ed,

Good to meet you. Yes you absolutely want to request testing for mutations. My most recent testing was done via a simple blood test but the initial testing was a biopsy of the tissue. The biopsy may be more specific. But either way that testing can open many avenues for treatment with targeted therapy.

I wish you the best. Let us know how it goes.


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Welcome here.

By all means, you should explore biomarker testing.  In fact, if you had a biopsy to ID the type of NSCLC you had when diagnosed 3 years ago, it is more likely that sample is still available for examination.  I was told that these biopsy tissue samples are retained for quite a while.  Either way, you should likely have biopsy material tested.  You didn't mention your type of NSCLC.  Targeted Therapy is normally restricted to those with adenocarcinoma (link to more info about targeted therapy) but immunotherapy  is stating to gain traction treating Squamous cell and even Small Cell lung cancer.  So there are advances in treatment, many in fact during the last 3 years.

Glad you found us.  Look around a bit on the forums and let us know the results of your biopsy test.

Stay the course.


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