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Lung Cancer

In the U.S., more than 220,000 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in 2015, accounting for roughly 13% of all new cancer diagnoses. The more you and your doctor know about the nature of your cancer, the better the chance of treating it effectively. Exosome Diagnostics has developed three genetic tests that analyze blood plasma for certain lung cancer mutations that can help your doctor select the treatment that will work best for you.

ExoDx Lung(ALK), available now, is designed to accurately detect the EML4-ALK mutation in cancer cells. It causes the cell to keep dividing and growing uncontrollably and is found in 3% to 5% of all patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Those who have it may benefit from a treatment that specifically targets this mutation to reduce the growth of cancer cells.


 Coming Soon

Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs) are commonly used to treat patients with NSCLC, but cancer cells can become resistant to these treatments and when this happens, the cancer begins to grow again. ExoDx Lung(T790M), which will be available in 2017, identifies the EGFR T790M mutation that causes resistance to many TKIs.


Coming Soon

ExoDx Lung(EGFR), which will also be available in 2017, identifies the activating EGFR mutations as well as the EGFR T790M resistance mutation.

About ExoDx Lung(ALK)

What is ExoDx Lung(ALK)?

ExoDx Lung(ALK) is a simple blood plasma test that helps your doctor better understand the genetic makeup of your tumor. It works by isolating and analyzing exosomal RNA to detect the EML4-ALK mutation. There are multiple variants of the EML4-ALK mutation that can cause cancer cells to keep growing and dividing. If any variant is found in the test results, your doctor may recommend targeted treatment. ExoDx Lung(ALK) detects the EML4-ALK mutation and is highly specific for distinct EML4-ALK variants when tissue biopsy samples are not available.

Key Benefits

ExoDx Lung(ALK) detects the presence of the EML4-ALK mutation in the blood. It can identify five different variants of the mutation, which may be important for selecting the right treatment.

The test only requires a blood sample, so your doctor may use it repeatedly over the course of treatment.

How Does the Test Work?

ExoDx Lung(ALK) isolates and analyzes the exosomal RNA for five variants of the EML4-ALK mutation that may inform treatment choices. If any variants of the EML4-ALK mutation are detected your doctor will talk to you about treatment options.

How Can I Get the Test?

Talk to your doctor about getting ExoDx Lung(ALK). Your doctor can order it by submitting a test request form.

About ExoDx Lung(T790M)

What is ExoDx Lung(T790M)?

ExoDx Lung(T790M), available in 2017, is a blood plasma test that can detect the EGFR T790M mutation without the need for a biopsy. The EGFR T790M mutation causes cancer cells to develop resistance to many EGFR inhibitor therapies, so that cancer cells begin to grow again. ExoDx Lung(T790M) is a highly sensitive test that isolates and analyzes both exosomal RNA and cell-free DNA (which circulates in the bloodstream), to detect this mutation. It can be used repeatedly over the course of treatment.

Key Benefits

ExoDx Lung(T790M) is highly sensitive and can detect the EGFR T790M mutation without the need for tissue biopsy.

The test only requires a blood sample, so your doctor can use it repeatedly over the course of treatment.

How Does the Test Work?

ExoDx Lung(T790M), available in 2017, simultaneously isolates and analyzes both exosomal RNA and cell-free DNA (which circulates in the bloodstream) to detect a mutation that causes cancer cells to become resistant to EGFR therapies. Most people do not have the EGFR T790M mutation when they are first diagnosed, but for 50 to 60% of patients receiving EGFR inhibitor therapy, it develops eventually. If the test shows evidence of this mutation, your doctor will talk to you about alternative treatment options.

How Can I Get the Test?

ExoDx Lung(T790M) will be available for your doctor to order in 2017.

About ExoDx Lung(EGFR)

What is ExoDx Lung(EGFR)?

ExoDx Lung(EGFR), available in 2017, is a blood plasma test that can detect the EGFR activating mutations and T790M resistance mutations without the need for a biopsy.

Presence of EGFR activating mutations means that patients are more likely to respond to EGFR inhibitor therapies. The EGFR T790M mutation causes cancer cells to develop resistance to many EGFR inhibitor therapies, so that cancer cells begin to grow again. ExoDx Lung(EGFR) is a highly sensitive test that isolates and analyzes both exosomal RNA and cell-free DNA (which circulates in the bloodstream), to detect these mutations. It can be used repeatedly over the course of treatment.

Key Benefits

ExoDx Lung(EGFR) is highly sensitive and can detect the EGFR activating and T790M resistance mutations without the need for tissue biopsy.

The test only requires a blood sample, so your doctor can use it repeatedly over the course of treatment.

How Does the Test Work?

ExoDx Lung(EGFR), available in 2017, simultaneously isolates and analyzes both exosomal RNA and cell-free DNA (which circulates in the bloodstream) to detect the activating mutations and the EGFR T790M resistance mutation. Presence of EGFR activating mutations means that patients are more likely to respond to EGFR inhibitor therapies. However, 50 to 60% of patients receiving EGFR inhibitor therapy, will eventually develop the T790M resistance mutation. If the test shows evidence of this mutation, your doctor will talk to you about alternative treatment options.

How Can I Get the Test?

ExoDx Lung(EGFR) will be available for your doctor to order in 2017.

About Lung Cancer

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) occurs when cancerous cells form in the lung tissue. It is the most common form of lung cancer, and it accounts for 7 out of 8 cases. Small cell lung cancer, which is much less common, grows and spreads more quickly and is treated differently from NSCLC. Lung cancer is further characterized by different genetic profiles, and therefore different patients respond differently to certain treatments.

Risk factors for NSCLC include smoking and tobacco use; exposure to secondhand smoke; family history; and exposure to other airborne carcinogens such as asbestos, radon and soot.

Signs and symptoms may include a persistent, worsening cough, coughing up phlegm and blood, and shortness of breath. If lung cancer is suspected, your doctor will give you a physical exam and ask you questions about your family history, habits and work. Lung cancer can be diagnosed using chest X-rays, CT scans, laboratory tests and biopsies. There are also several different types of treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy or drug therapy, radiation and targeted therapies using biological drugs that harness your body’s immune system.

Resources for Patients

Learn More About Lung Cancer

National Cancer Institute
http://www.cancer.gov/types/lung
Find information about lung cancer, its prevention, screening and treatment, as well as current research efforts and current clinical trials.

American Cancer Society
1 800-227-2345
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer/
Get information about lung cancer statistics, screening, symptoms and treatment. National and local affiliates support research and policy, and provide accurate information about cancer prevention and treatment, support groups, survivorship care plans and other tools.

Smoking Cessation Support

Smokefree.gov
1-877-44U-QUIT (NCI)
1-800-QUIT-NOW (local and state quitlines)
www.smokefree.gov
A free resource including health tips, apps, quit coaches and quit plans supporting those wishing to quit smoking or chewing tobacco.

Lung Cancer Information and Support Services

Lung Cancer Alliance
1-800-298-2346
info@lungcanceralliance.org
www.lungcanceralliance.org
Offers educational materials, a telephone helpline, peer-to-peer and group support, clinical trial matching and travel assistance grants.

CancerCare Lungcancer.org
1-800-813-HOPE (4673)
info@cancercare.org
www.lungcancer.org
Lungcancer.org is a service of CancerCare®, a non-profit organization that provides free professional support, including counseling, support groups, financial assistance, educational workshops and publications.

LUNGevity Foundation
1-312-464-0716
info@LUNGevity.org 
www.lungevity.org
Offers patient education materials and emotional and practical support resources.

General Cancer Information and Support Services

National Cancer Institute
1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER)
www.cancer.gov
Live help line provides accurate, up-to-date information about cancer to patients, their families and the general public; also helps people find clinical trials in their area.

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
1-888-650-9127
1-877-622-7937 (1-877-NCCS-YES) for publications and Cancer Survivor Toolbox® orders
info@canceradvocacy.org
www.canceradvocacy.org
Offers information on work, health insurance and more. The Cancer Survival Toolbox is a free, self-learning audio program to help cancer survivors and caregivers develop practical skills needed to deal with the diagnosis, treatment and challenges of cancer. Listen online or order CDs. Also available in Spanish and Chinese.

Cancer Support Community
1-888-793-9355
help@cancersupportcommunity.org
www.cancersupportcommunity.org
Provides support groups, counseling, education and healthy lifestyle programs for cancer patients.

Patient Advocate Foundation
1-800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org
Provides patients with debilitating diseases with arbitration, mediation and negotiation services to settle issues with access to care, medical debt and insurance.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials.gov
https://clinical.trials.gov/
Searchable database which provides patients, family members and the public with information about current ongoing clinical research studies.

FAQs

What is Targeted Therapy?

Although lung cancer is a very serious disease, many advances have made it possible to treat lung cancer more effectively. Scientists have advanced our understanding of the differences between cancer cells and healthy cells and new therapies have been developed that target these differences. These therapies are therefore able to kill cancerous cells and leave healthy cells intact and are often used in conjunction with other treatments to treat cancer. 

What is the EML4-ALK Mutation?

The EML4-ALK mutation occurs when two genes fuse and results in the creation of an abnormal protein on cancer cells. This protein is known as a tyrosine kinase and provides cancer cells with a signal to divide uncontrollably. This fusion mutation is somewhat rare and is found in only 3% to 5% of all patients with NSCLC. Individuals with this particular mutation can benefit from certain targeted therapies that turn off the tyrosine kinase signal and reduce cancer cell growth. 

What are EGFR Activating Mutations?

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) is a protein commonly found on the surface of NSCLC cells and is involved in promoting cell growth. In approximately 10% of NSCLC patients the EGFR receptor is mutated. These mutations are associated with response to EGFR inhibitor therapies.

What is the EGFR T790M Mutation?

The EGFR T790M mutation causes cancer cells to develop resistance to Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) inhibitor treatment. EGFR is a protein commonly found on the surface of NSCLC cells and is involved in promoting cell growth. As such, the EGFR protein has become an important target for cancer therapies as patients with these tumors respond well to treatment with EGFR inhibitors.

Unfortunately, around 50-60% of patients with NSCLC who are treated with EGFR inhibitors develop a resistance to the therapy through a mutation called EGFR T790M. Patients rarely test positive for this mutation when they are first diagnosed. Instead it occurs as the cancer cells adapt and change in response to EGFR inhibitor treatment. When the mutation occurs, it can cause the EGFR inhibitor treatment to be less effective.

What are Exosomes?

Exosomes are cell messengers released by all living cells and are carried throughout the body via biofluids, such as urine, plasma and cerebrospinal fluid. Analyzing the genetic material in exosomes can reveal important information about the body’s cells, including the presence of mutations and biomarkers that are linked to certain cancers.

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