Inside Diagnostics EGFR mutation screening in Belgium is state of the art
Most non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR-) targeting tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) will develop resistance mutations over the course of the disease. For patients with the T790M resistance mutation, third generation EGFR-targeting TKIs are an available treatment option. However, the presence of the T790M mutation needs to be confirmed to be eligible for such treatment, and not all patients are medically fit to undergo repeated invasive biopsies to detect the mutation. For such patients, the opportunity to screen for the mutation in blood plasma would be of great benefit.
Nine Belgian laboratories joined efforts to conduct the ring trial, a study designed to determine whether circulating cell-free DNA with the T790M mutation could be detected in blood plasma using different laboratory assays that are currently available. The results of the trial were recently presented at the 29th European Congress of Pathology. They indicate that blood plasma can reliably be used to detect the mutation, although negative test results still require that NSCLC-patients undergo a biopsy, as assay sensitivity could still be improved. These results not only show that Belgian laboratories are able to apply the latest cutting-edge diagnostic techniques, but also provide a new diagnostic solution for patients unable to have a biopsy.
Diagnostics Manager AstraZeneca
NS ID BE-1375-RD10/2017-LB
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About the Author
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.