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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 45-54

Epidermal growth factor receptor T790M testing in progressed lung cancer: A review of sensitive methods for analysis of tissue and liquid biopsy samples

1 Tata Memorial Centre, Medical Oncology-Molecular Laboratory, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 National Diagnostics Head, Medical Affairs, Astra Zeneca Pharma Limited, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A Chougule
Tata Memorial Centre, Medical Oncology-Molecular Laboratory, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_540_17

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Lung cancer is one of the major causes of mortality worldwide and is on the rise in India. The identification of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has paved the way for personalized therapy in lung cancer with EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Despite the proven efficacy of EGFR-TKIs in patients harboring EGFR mutations, their clinical utility is limited by the development of acquired resistance mechanisms by the tumor cells. T790M mutation accounts for 60% of all resistance mechanisms to EGFR TKIs and is responsible for treatment failure with first- and second-generation TKIs. With the development of novel therapeutic agents such as osimertinib to overcome this resistance mechanism, it is essential to detect patients harboring T790M mutation. There are several limitations with the use of tissue biopsy specimens for molecular testing such as poor quality and quantity of sample, tumor heterogeneity, occurrence of complications, and issues with repeat biopsy. Liquid biopsy offers a noninvasive approach that can be used for diagnostic purposes as well as for monitoring treatment response and evaluation of resistance mechanisms. This review focuses on the methods for molecular testing of tissue and liquid biopsy specimens for EGFR mutations, particularly EGFR T790M mutation.


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