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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 809835, 11 pages
Review Article

Role of Rebiopsy in Relapsed Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer for Directing Oncology Treatments

Clinical Cancer Research Center, Vaasa Oncology Clinic, Turku University, Hietalahdenkatu 2-4, 65100 Vaasa, Finland

Received 29 September 2014; Revised 5 January 2015; Accepted 5 January 2015

Academic Editor: James L. Mulshine

Copyright © 2015 Antti P. Jekunen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Currently, few rebiopsies are performed in relapses of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. They are not customary in clinical practice of lung cancer. However, it is not possible to properly target treatments in cases of relapse without knowing the nature of new lesions. Design. This paper comprehensively summarizes the available literature about rebiopsy and broadly discusses the importance of rebiopsy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Results. Altogether 560 abstracts were used as material for further analysis. 19 articles were about clinical rebiopsy in lung cancer and were reviewed in detailed manner. Conclusions. This review shows that rebiopsy is feasible in non-small cell lung cancer, and success rates can be high if rebiopsy is accompanied by adequate evaluation before biopsy. Its use may resolve the difficulties in sampling bias and detecting changes in cancer characteristics. In cases where treatment was selected based on tissue characteristics that then change, the treatment selection process must be repeated while considering new characteristics of the tumor. Rebiopsy may be used to predict therapeutic resistance and consequently redirect targeted therapies. Such knowledge may resolve the difficulties in sampling bias and also in selecting preexisting clones or formulating drug-resistant ones. Rebiopsy should be performed more often in non-small cell lung cancer.