What is Biomarker Testing?

Biomarker Testing helps your cancer care team match targeted therapy drugs to the specific subtype of cancer you have. A sample of your cancer is collected from your blood or bodily fluids, or from the tissue taken during a surgery or biopsy. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing. When your test results come back, they can be used to help guide your treatment options.

Biomarker Testing is also called: molecular testing, tumor profiling, somatic testing or genomic testing of cancer cells. When it is called for, biomarker testing can help identify the best treatment. Its use is becoming more widespread. But some health care providers and hospitals still do not offer it. Some doctors and hospitals are less likely to use it.

A Quick Guide to Biomarker Testing (video)

Things to know:

  • If you have lung cancer, talk to your health care provider about getting Comprehensive Biomarker Testing prior to starting treatment.
  • The need for Biomarker Testing is not based on any risk factors. For example, it does not matter if you smoked or didn't smoke.
  • This tool on its own cannot diagnose cancer or tell you the best treatment option for you. It can help you know which questions to ask and better understand the answers.