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AdventHealth Physician Research Highlights Need for Genetic Testing to Target Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Treatment

Headshot of Mark Socinski.

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AdventHealth Cancer Institute Executive Medical Director Dr. Mark Socinski recently published the lead article titled MET Exon 14 Skipping Mutations in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer” in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s JCO Precision Oncology journal. Socinski and his colleagues discuss the complex genomic events leading to non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and also review the specific considerations for detecting the MET exon 14 skipping mutation (METex14) using next-generation sequencing genetic testing.

Lung cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed type of cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths. NSCLC makes up 85% of lung cancer diagnoses in the U.S., and research over the last decade has uncovered numerous molecular mutations that drive the disease. This has led to development of new targeted therapies to improve outcomes.

“In the past 10 years, we have seen a transformation in how we think about lung cancer, especially non-small-cell lung cancer,” explains Socinski. “NSCLC is actually a very generic term that encompasses a number of different types that are driven by varying molecular alterations. Understanding the specific mutation that caused the cancer allows us to treat the patient more effectively with an appropriate targeted therapy.”

The METex14 mutation is one of the newer drivers identified, and it occurs in approximately 3-4% of NSCLC cases. Two new drugs, capmatinib and tepotinib, were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for metastatic METex14 NSCLC. Socinski’s article explores the biology, clinical outcomes and testing considerations for METex14 to help educate oncologists on this new development and the importance of next-generation sequencing genetic testing to identify and more effectively treat NSCLC patients.

“Comprehensive genomic testing is no longer an option; it should be the standard of care for every non-small-cell lung cancer patient,” says Socinski. “We know that the new generation of targeted therapies available to us can dramatically improve outcomes, so it is imperative that we properly identify the driving mutation.”

A board-certified, fellowship-trained medical oncologist, Socinski is an internationally recognized expert in the development of novel chemotherapy agents and treatment strategies for advanced NSCLC and small-cell lung cancer. Since 2005, his research has focused on incorporating personalized medicine and molecular biomarkers in the treatment of lung cancer, and he has led AdventHealth’s involvement in clinical trials for METex14. Socinski also formerly served as co-chair of the thoracic malignancies steering committee for the National Cancer Institute.

Physicians with questions about this research or a specific NSCLC case, contact an AdventHealth thoracic oncology nurse navigator at:

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