A new blood test could improve the use of a popular lung cancer drug called erlotinib by allowing doctors to select which patients will react positively to the drug.
Currently, patients with non-small cell lung cancer receive erlotinib after chemotherapy and other drugs have failed. But erlotinib will only shrink the tumour about 10 per cent of the time.
“This is a step in the right direction that will allow us to eventually personalize a patient’s treatment,” says Queen’s University Oncology professor Lesley Seymour, who was the coordinating physician on the study. “At the moment, we give drugs to patients and if they respond, we are happy and continue the treatment. If they don’t, we move on to another drug.”