Treat Your Lung Cancer

Not all lung cancers are the same. And a lung cancer diagnosis can differ from person to person. An important step in finding out how best to treat the cancer you have is by testing for biomarkers.

Certain biomarkers can be the “drivers” that cause cancer to grow and spread.

Testing for biomarkers can help you and your doctor decide the best treatments to stop the cancer from growing and spreading.

3 steps for treating your lung cancer:

Test for lung cancer

Test for all common biomarkers that could be causing your cancer to grow and spread.

Know your biomarker test results

Test results take time. By knowing all your biomarker test results, you can make the best treatment decision.

Treat your lung cancer

Biomarker test results can tell your doctor what proven treatments are right for you and when to start them.

Learning About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a complicated disease that involves many details beyond the first diagnosis. Lung cancer affects different people in different ways, so it’s important to learn about the type of cancer you have.

What you'll learn from a lung cancer diagnosis:

General lung cancer type icon

General lung cancer type:

The two main types are non-small cell and small cell. Non-small cell lung cancer (also called NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer.

Stages of lung cancer

Stage of lung cancer:

The main stages of lung cancer are stage 1 to stage 4. These may be expressed in Roman or Arabic numerals. The stages are represented by a combination of numbers and letters. Each measures the extent of the cancer.

But keep in mind, learning about cancer’s biomarkers is an important next step after an initial diagnosis.

Biomarkers are used to determine your best treatment options for your type of cancer. Biomarker testing is a key step in your complete diagnosis.

Douglas Reznick, MD

Medical Oncologist, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers

Finding Out How to

You won’t learn about all of cancer’s biomarkers from an initial diagnosis. Having biomarker testing may give you and your doctor a more complete picture of what could cause lung cancer to grow and spread.

Biomarker testing goes by many names. You may hear it referred to as: mutation testing, genetic testing, molecular testing, and genomic testing, among others.

Two ways to test for biomarkers

Biopsy test for biomarkers


removes tissue from a tumor to be tested

Blood test for biomarkers

Blood test

also known as a liquid biopsy or plasma test

People diagnosed with advanced or metastatic NSCLC usually test positive for at least one of these biomarkers:

  • ALK
  • BRAF
  • EGFR
  • NTRK
  • PD-L1
  • ROS1

Knowing your cancer has a specific biomarker means you can target that biomarker.

Finding the RIGHT Treatment Options

It can take time to get biomarker testing results. Some will come back sooner than others. Getting your results will give your doctor more information to help ensure that you start on the right treatment option.

EGFR biomarker

One common biomarker that doctors look for is an EGFR mutation (also known as epidermal growth factor receptor).

If an EGFR biomarker is discovered, lung cancer can be treated with the right treatment option—which is why it’s so important to test for it.

Biomarker testing results may give your healthcare team all the information they need to make an informed treatment decision.

Michael Pritchett, DO

Pulmonologist, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital

Targeting EGFR+ Lung Cancer

If your lung cancer tests positive for an EGFR biomarker, you and your doctor may discuss targeted therapies. These treatments are designed to attack EGFR, the driver that causes lung cancer to grow and spread.

As a result, targeted therapies can give you more time without cancer growing or spreading.

Targeting Stage 4 EGFR+ NSCLC with a once-daily pill

EGFR TKIs are a form of targeted therapy. It is a once-daily pill. Targeted therapy is not chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

If you’ve already started on another treatment and later find out that the lung cancer you have is EGFR+, targeted therapies may still be a treatment option for you. Talk with your doctor today to see if targeted therapy may be the right way to fight the type of lung cancer you have.

Knowing your biomarkers helps us target your cancer more accurately.

Michael Pritchett, DO

Pulmonologist, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital


Dr. Pritchett Discusses Biomarker Testing

Talking with your doctor can help you find the right treatment. Start the discussion today.

Targeted therapies may help stop the growth and spread of certain cancers. Find out more.