Attitudes Toward Rebiopsy aims to understand the communication gaps about rebiopsy between patients and healthcare providers in order to help healthcare providers better communicate with their lung cancer patients about the need for rebiopsies and how these biopsies can help decide treatments at recurrence or progression of cancer.
A biopsy is typically required to conduct biomarker testing, and in many cases, the same biopsy used for diagnosis can also be used for biomarker testing. If the tumor tests positive for a specific actionable mutation or a marker for immunotherapy such as PD-L1 or tumor mutation burden (TMB), then treatment with an FDA-approved targeted agent or immunotherapy monotherapy/combination is typically started, or a patient can receive information about participating in a clinical study for investigational drugs.
Despite an initial benefit, however, the lung cancer almost always develops resistance to the first drug. Researchers have identified secondary mutations that cause resistance to the first treatment, making it important to check whether the cancer has developed new mutations. The next treatment option or eligibility for a clinical trial can then be determined. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that clinicians do not always recommend an additional biopsy (rebiopsy) because they believe that patients will not want to undergo this procedure again, or because the patient’s health condition may not be conducive to another biopsy.
To understand where the communication gap lies, we conducted two studies, one with patients and the other with oncologists and pulmonologists, to understand preferences toward rebiopsies. Information gathered through these studies has been used to educate healthcare providers about the importance of communication when describing the need for rebiopsies to lung cancer patients.
Results to Date
- Willingness for multiple biopsies to improve quality of lung cancer care: Understanding the patient perspective (white paper)
- Willingness for multiple biopsies to improve quality of lung cancer care: Understanding the patient perspective (WCLC 2016 presentation)
- Willingness to perform multiple biopsies to improve quality of lung cancer care: Understanding the oncologists’ perspective (white paper)
- Willingness to perform multiple biopsies to improve quality of lung cancer care: Understanding the oncologists’ perspective (WCLC 2018 presentation)