Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

ESMO 2019: Liquid Biopsy May Guide Therapy for Some Patients With Lung Cancer

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019

Blood-based next-generation sequencing appears to successfully identify complex DNA mutations in the cells of patients with advanced ALK-positive non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), potentially eliminating the need for invasive biopsies. These findings were from the BFAST trial, a phase II/III study presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019 in Barcelona (Abstract LBA81_PR).

In patients with lung cancer, “it is a major challenge to get a suitable tumor sample for analysis,” explained Shirish M. Gadgeel, MD, of the Rogel Cancer Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in an ESMO press release. “Liquid biopsy identified a similar proportion of patients with ALK mutations to that typically seen with traditional biopsy, and the results with alectinib compared well with those seen in a pivotal study of this treatment.”

Using blood-based next-generation sequencing, the researchers identified 119 patients with ALK-positive disease of the 2,219 patients with untreated stage IIIB/IV NSCLC who were screened. Of these patients, 87 were enrolled and received oral alectinib at 600 mg twice daily. TP53 mutations were detected in 38 patients (44%), and EML4 was the fusion partner in 73 patients (84%).

After a median follow-up of 12.6 months, the objective response rate was 87.4%, and the 12-month progression-free survival was 78.4%. In patients with asymptomatic baseline central nervous system disease (n = 35), the objective response rate was 91.4%. Safety data were consistent with the known safety profile of alectinib.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at


By continuing to browse this site you permit us and our partners to place identification cookies on your browser and agree to our use of cookies to identify you for marketing. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.