Appropriate use of tumour biomarkers for treatment with innovative drugs: A retrospective study

Ilaria Massa, Oriana Nanni, Massimo Guidoboni, Giovanni Luca Frassineti, Andrea Rocca, Marco Angelo Burgio, Linda Valmorri, Mattia Marri, Alessandra Piancastelli, Marina Faedi, Maurizio Leoni, Stefano Tamberi, Mattia Altini, Dino Amadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Performing randomised clinical trials to address the clinical usefulness of predictive and prognostic tumour markers is a complex process for several reasons, and observational experiences may thus play an important role. The present study performed an observational retrospective analysis in Area Vasta Romagna, Italy, collecting information on tumour marker determination in 760 consecutive patients who started a new line of anticancer therapy between January and June 2010. The determination of well-known biomarkers was requested for all gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) patients (n=13) and for almost all breast cancer patients (n=369), and targeted therapies were consequently prescribed. Conversely, Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) determination in colon cancer patients (n=177) was requested in ~50% of advanced cases, while epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) determination was required in slightly more than 30% of the same patients. EGFR and KRAS determinations were requested in only 15% and 7.5% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients (n=201), respectively. There would appear to be greater appropriateness of tumour marker determination for breast cancer and GISTs than for colon cancer and NSCLC. Resources can be further optimised by standardising tumour marker determinations in terms of the timing of requests and the consequent use of the results for tailored treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-836
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Appropriateness
  • Biological drug
  • Resource optimisation
  • Tumour biomarker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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