Currently, newly diagnosed metastatic NSCLC patients can access sequential testing for EGFR, ALK+ and ROS1 oncogenic driver mutations of NSCLC. If a driver mutation is found, patients can access specific therapies that target these mutations and inhibit cancer growth. People living with lung cancer who are treated with targeted therapies can potentially enjoy many years with manageable treatment side effects.
In recent years other targeted therapies have been developed and some are available on the PBS, provided a positive result is obtained from another sequential test. This type of testing takes time and potentially may use up all biopsy tissue before testing for all oncogenic driver mutations is complete. Through the ASPiRATION study, TOGA offered comprehensive genomic profiling that tested for all known genetic variants simultaneously and many sites introduced panels where multiple oncogenic driver mutations were identified in the one test.
To date, these tests have not been fully reimbursed by the MBS, but from 1 November 2023, a single panel, or two separate panels testing EGFR, BRAF, KRAS, MetExon14, ALK fusion, ROS1, RET and NTRK1, 2 and 3 will be fully reimbursed for all metastatic NSCLC patients. More information can be found here.