Table of Contents
Lung Cancer International
Volume 2013, Article ID 436409, 7 pages
Review Article

Thymidylate Synthase as a Predictive Biomarker for Pemetrexed Response in NSCLC

1Eastern Virginia Medical School, 700 West Olney Road Norfolk, Norfolk, VA 23507, USA
2Virginia Oncology Associates, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 5900 Lake Wright Drive Norfolk, Norfolk, VA 23502, USA

Received 28 July 2013; Accepted 30 November 2013

Academic Editor: Natasha B. Leighl

Copyright © 2013 Ali A. Bukhari and Ranjit K. Goudar. 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.


In recent years, major strides in cancer research have made it possible to select personalized chemotherapy recommendations based on an individual patient’s tumor biology. The prognostic and/or predictive ability of biomarkers seeks to tailor the use of targeted chemotherapy and can result in improved clinical outcomes with reduced toxicity. A proliferation of new technology and pharmacotherapeutics in the setting of current FDA Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) standards has resulted in a recent surge in direct-to-physician biomarker tests. However, in the absence of clinical validation, there is the concern that the biomarkers may be utilized prematurely, resulting in improper chemotherapy selection and patient harm. Thymidylate synthase (TS) has been marketed as a predictive biomarker for the use of pemetrexed in NSCLC. We will examine the evidence behind the use of TS as a predictive biomarker to predict response to pemetrexed in NSCLC. At this time, the evidence does not currently support using TS assays to guide chemotherapy selection outside of a clinical research protocol.