A new manuscript published in the peer-reviewed international journal, Lung Cancer, evaluates the challenges impacting tissue acquisition and molecular pathway testing in the UK.
Authored by a team of UK clinical experts, ‘Optimising Tissue Acquisition and the Molecular Testing Pathway in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A UK Expert Consensus Statement’, includes recommendations on how to overcome current barriers with the existing tissue acquisition and molecular testing pathway in the UK, to help improve health outcomes in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer with an estimated 48,000 new cases diagnosed in the UK every year.1 NSCLC accounts for 85% of lung cancers and outcomes across the UK remain poor.1,2 Molecular testing is crucial for treatment selection in patients with advanced NSCLC as it allows for personalised therapy options and the optimisation of clinical outcomes.
The NHS Long Term Plan ambitions for cancer include making sure patients can access more effective tests and quickly benefit from precise, highly personalised treatments as medical science advances.3 And in recent years, genomic testing in England has undergone major changes with the introduction of Genomic Laboratory Hubs, which are designed to consolidate and enhance the existing laboratory provision and deliver genomic testing at scale. Similar changes are ongoing in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This is being driven by government aims for faster diagnosis and treatment of cancer.4
Multiple challenges exist with current tissue acquisition procedures and the molecular testing pathway in the UK, ultimately impacting patient outcomes. To address these challenges, Amgen instigated several collaborative initiatives with a team of multidisciplinary experts.
A key output of these initiatives is ‘Optimising Tissue Acquisition and the Molecular Testing Pathway in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A UK Expert Consensus Statement’. This manuscript summarises best practice recommendations – based on expert opinion – on how to overcome existing challenges with current tissue acquisition procedures and the molecular testing pathway.
The manuscript also provides an overview of the current issues with sample acquisition and processing, laboratory systems and pathways, multidisciplinary teams, guidance, standardisation, and offers expert advice and recommendations with practical suggestions and key actions for each member of a multidisciplinary team. It has received excellent feedback from several respected journal peer reviewers.
“While this will be of most interest to a UK audience, the lessons and challenges will not be dissimilar to a worldwide audience. It will also be of interest to all disciplines involved in the care of patients with lung cancer and will provide a reference paper to which local multidisciplinary teams can refer, discuss, and educate themselves.”
“I expect this will become a useful paper for local centres to reference and benchmark in order to drive quality improvement and optimise the molecular diagnostic pathway.”
“This is an important issue that has been addressed by a cross-specialties group. It will be of considerable interest not only to readers in the United Kingdom but those in other countries who will be suffering from similar issues in optimising pathways.”
To read the full manuscript of ‘Optimising Tissue Acquisition and the Molecular Testing Pathway in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A UK Expert Consensus Statement’, visit the Lung Cancer journal website.
1 Cancer Research UK. Lung Cancer Statistics. Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/lung-cancer#heading-Two. Accessed August 2022.
2 Cancer Research UK. Types of Lung Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/lung-cancer/stages-types-grades/types. Accessed August 2022.
3 NHS England. NHS Long Term Plan » Cancer. Available at: https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/areas-of-work/cancer/. Accessed August 2022.
4 Genomics Education Programme. Genome UK: The First Steps In a Grand Plan. Available at: https://www.genomicseducation.hee.nhs.uk/blog/genome-uk-the-first-steps-in-a-grand-plan/. Accessed August 2022.
Job Code: UKI-510-0822-00003 | Date of Preparation: September 2022