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Gene Test May Help Determine Early Lung Cancer Survival

Test May Help Doctors Decide Which Patients Would Benefit From Chemotherapy After Surgery

Will Gene-Profiling Lung Cancers Improve Treatment?

Researchers say it’s not yet clear what this means in terms of treatment.

“That’s the $64,000 question,” Mann says. “We know that certain subsets of patients who undergo surgery will have increased survival if they get chemotherapy after surgery,” he says.

But chemotherapy is not recommended for many stage I non-small-cell lung cancers. Mann thinks that’s because the studies simply haven’t be able to distinguish high-risk from low-risk patients. He thinks the new test could change that.

Other experts agree.

“In my mind, currently, it’s the best of anything I’ve seen, and it’s done in a fashion that could be deployed in the real world,” says John L. Minna, MD, a pulmonary oncologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Minna wrote a commentary on the study but was not involved in the research.

He says with more people getting screening tests for lung cancer, having a better way to distinguish high-risk from low-risk patients will be important for making sure people don’t get too much or too little treatment for their disease.

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