Table of Contents
Pathology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 312346, 8 pages
Review Article

From the Bench to Bedside: Biological and Methodology Considerations for the Future of Companion Diagnostics in Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer

1Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8023, USA
2Section of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Institute of Cancer Research, London SW3 6JB, UK
33rd Department of Medicine, University of Athens Medical School, 11527 Athens, Greece

Received 11 January 2011; Revised 9 May 2011; Accepted 14 June 2011

Academic Editor: Elizabeth Wiley

Copyright © 2011 Anastasios Dimou et al. 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.


Companion diagnostics are an emerging and exciting field in the care of oncology patients. These tests accompany standard diagnostic investigations in cancer patients and function as an aid in treatment decision making. A great number of new compounds are under clinical and laboratory testing in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). As the variety of therapeutic options expands in the various settings of the disease, it becomes apparent that specific and sensitive molecular tests are necessary to define the subsets of patients who are going to derive clinical benefit. Testing for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) somatic mutations for the appropriate administration of tyrosine kinase inhibitors is just the beginning. Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) fusion protein detection and molecular histology classification are promising candidate predictors for clinical benefit from crizotinib and pemetrexed, respectively. This paper summarizes such diagnostics and discusses unanswered questions concerning underlying biology and standardization issues.