FDA approves another blood test for a mutation (T790M) in lung cancer

Some of you may have heard about new blood tests to check for lung cancer mutations. And you may have seen the term "liquid biopsy." These blood tests mean that patients with lung cancer who are unable to have a tissue biopsy could still be tested for mutations. Identifying lung cancer mutations is important in helping to decide which treatments might work best. Earlier this year (June 2016), the FDA approved the first blood test for EGFR mutations as a companion test for erlotinib (Tarceva®), which is an EGFR-targeting agent. The test that was just approved is a companion test for osimertinib (Tagrisso®), which is approved for use in patients whose lung cancer has the T790M mutation. The T790M mutation is linked to resistance to EGFR-targeting drugs. The bottom line: some patients could have a blood test to see if their tumor has mutations if they are unable to have a procedure (biopsy) to get a sample of their tumor.

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  • Hi Mary, Are there any results for Tarceva and Tagrisso that have been published or are they still being tested? Thanks very much.

  • Hello! Studies of Tarceva and Tagrisso have been published and both drugs are FDA-approved for the treatment of lung cancer. Studies of the plasma tests have also been published and information about them is summarized on websites, such as FDA.gov:



    Are you interested in seeing a specific publication?

  • Hi Mary! Oh, no, you've been so helpful just by providing these links. Will be accompanying sis-in-law to Chemo next Monday and, since her onc has been heard to day "I love it when my patients bring me printouts of things they've found," I'm trying to compile a SMALL file for him. He's quite up on latest drugs like Keytruda, etc., Has probably heard same news about Opdivo that the rest of us has.... so I'm just looking for a few interesting, possibly obscure articles that are very current. File needs to be small so I don't get thrown out of the car. But the great news after 3-4 months of cocktail is that he sees nearly 80% shrinkage across the board. Thank you and thanks to everyone here. Xo

  • jumpsturdy That sounds like great news on the 80% shrinkage for your sister-in-law! I hope that you are doing ok as well. It's also great that the onc likes to get printouts! Please keep us posted and let us know if we can help in any way.

  • Jumpsturdy, Yup, Mary is the best - she really understands the science of these treatments...I just listen and learn! Best of luck to your sister-in-law and all of you who care for her! Sounds like you have a really great relationship with the oncologist - that is such good news. Please keep in touch, we'll be waiting to hear the latest updates! Warmest wishes, Peggy

  • My husband is taking only Tarceva, this is his first month, it looks like he is doing good, the side effects are much better, less nausea, more energy, he is eating very good, his mood is very good, the only side effect that is notable he has acne on his face and rash on his chest but doctor said it is normal , well on my opinion speaking like a regular person (obviously I'm not a doctor ) he is managed much better the whole situation with this oral chemotherapy than the intravenous chemotherapy at least he is not spending the whole day laid down and throwing up, even he has gain 18 lb in this month, he is driving again and he is doing some chores and running errands, as you can see, I think this new medication is working good, I know it is only one month but at least is working. I'm feeling happy that my husband is feeling much better.

  • Oh, we share your happiness. Thank you.

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