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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