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Oncogene Testing: What it is and Why it is Important

By July 8, 2021September 29th, 2022No Comments

Cancers can be caused by many individual or combined factors including but not limited to: environmental, genetic and mutations. In this piece, we will focus on genetic mutations which cause the growth or proliferation of cells potentially resulting in the formation of malignant tumors.  A diagnosis of nonsmall cell lung cancer is just the beginning in understanding the disease, its origin and optimal treatments.  After the general diagnosis of NSCLC, the patient can seek information as to whether the cancer was caused by genetic mutation including BRAF mutations, HER2 insertions, PIK3CA mutations, FGFR1 amplifications, DDR2 mutations, ROS1 rearrangements, and RET rearrangements.  With the testing and confirmatory diagnosis, then oncologists can target the genetic mutations with specific treatment.  For example, if cancer is caused by RET mutation, then the patient may receive selpercatnib or Retevmo which is a first generation RET inhibitor designed to interfere with cancer cell proliferation.  The RET inhibitor is the best hope to stop the progression of the disease caused by genetic mutation.  However, without the oncogene testing, this treatment would not be available as the specific genetic mutation must be diagnosed first.  Genetic testing is the gateway to optimal treatment and a healthier future.  

For more information about testing and treatment: