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Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Molecular Studies: Getting More Information from Small Biopsies


A lung biopsy is usually performed to determine the cause of abnormalities, such as nodules that appear on chest x rays. It can confirm a diagnosis of cancer, especially if malignant cells are detected in the patient's sputum or bronchial washing. In addition to evaluating lung tumors and their associated symptoms, lung biopsies may be used to diagnose other diseases and for treatment of diseases. This presentation focus is the use of small biopsy specimens and fine needle aspirations in diagnosis of cancer.  Also a discussion on using small biopsies and fine needle aspiration material for ancillary studies will be discussed.  A few methods will be review on processing molecular studies in lung cancer and of current molecular studies used for therapeutic decision making in non-small cell lung cancers by fine needle aspiration and small biopsy specimens.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review of how small biopsy specimens and fine needle aspiration are used in the diagnosis of lung cancer.
  2. Triage of small biopsies and fine needle aspiration material for ancillary studies will be discussed.
  3. A discussion of how to possible improve tissue processing for molecular studies in lung cancer samples will be reviewed.
  4. Review of the current status of molecular studies used for therapeutic decision making in non-small cell lung cancers assessed by fine needle aspiration or small biopsy specimens.

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