Biomarker testing is an important part of understanding your unique advanced NSCLC diagnosis. It is used in the advanced stages of NSCLC and involves testing tumor tissue for mutations or abnormalities in the DNA and levels of specific proteins in, or on the surface of, the tumor. Biomarkers tell your doctor that a mutation or an abnormality may be present and may lead to a better understanding of which treatment to use and how you may respond to treatment.
There are many different biomarker tests that may help you and your doctor decide the most appropriate treatment options to help treat your advanced NSCLC. Your doctor may test you for more than one biomarker. Below are some of the most common types of biomarkers.
Some treatment options depend on the presence or absence of biomarkers. Biomarker testing is used to determine if you may have a mutation or an abnormality that is treatable or to measure your programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) level. The results of these tests help determine whether any of the FDA-approved targeted therapies or immunotherapies may be right for your treatment plan. PD-L1 is currently used to help decide whether your advanced NSCLC may respond to treatment with immunotherapy.
PD-L1 is a protein that acts as a kind of “brake” to keep the body’s immune responses under control. PD-L1 binds to another protein found on T cells called programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1). This binding keeps T cells from killing normal cells and cancer cells that contain PD-L1.
If you test negative for abnormal EGFR, ALK, or ROS1 genes and have a high PD-L1 level (greater than or equal to 50%), LIBTAYO may be an appropriate treatment option for your advanced NSCLC.