Inside Diagnostics AZ’s symposium at the 8th Belgian Week of Pathology: solving the puzzle of diagnostic testing in NSCLC patients


International and Belgian experts discussed their latest findings at the 8th Belgian Week of Pathology, held in Ghent from October 19th to 21st. During this congress, AstraZeneca organized a satellite symposium, where a multidisciplinary team from AZ Delta discussed how to complete a full molecular diagnostic and histopathological profile for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients..

During a joint presentation, the speakers elaborated on various sampling possibilities for diagnostic purposes: solid-tissue biopsies, such as endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA), and liquid biopsies, such as plasma samples. The molecular diagnostic investigations that can be performed are limited by the type of sample obtained: tissue biopsies are preferred, as they support both histopathological assessments and molecular techniques, whereas liquid biopsies can only be used for molecular testing.

The experts from AZ Delta went on to present Delta Oncoscreen v1, a new in-house NGS panel that is suitable for liquid biopsies. This assay, currently under validation, has already proven to be more sensitive than previous techniques for the detection of clinically relevant NSCLC mutations in plasma..

During the panel discussion, both the participants and the audience agreed that the choice of sample type and molecular test applied must be made according to the clinical circumstances, considering factors such as driver mutations and clinical progression of the patient. Only using that approach, together with the recent advances in therapeutic diagnostics, may clinical pathologists be able to break through the current challenges in diagnostics-based NSCLC therapy choices..


Rudy Hovelinck
Diagnostics Manager at AstraZeneca


NS ID BE 1449-RD01/2018

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About the Author

Rudy Hovelinck

Diagnostics Manager AstraZeneca

M. +32 (0) 476 22 58

Rudy Hovelinck obtained a scientific degree first in biochemistry at Ghent University and later in Molecular Biology at the ULB. Initially exploring the academic world in diverse fields as genetics, protein chemistry and virology, he soon realised that bridging scientific knowledge to the medical world was a more meaningful way of spending his professional life. This journey started in the field of pathology biomarker testing, introducing HER2 IHC and ISH testing for patient therapy selection and continued in the field of molecular oncology. Today at AstraZeneca he works as a diagnostics manager. In this role he is passionately contributing to the successful introduction of novel biomarkers and support current testing strategies for patient selection. In his own time he enjoys travelling with his family exploring the world and spending time close to nature. Specialties: Oncology, Anatomic Pathology, Biomarker Development, Medical Devices.