Biomarker Discussion Guide

This guide can support people with solid-tumor cancer to ask their doctor or nurse the right questions about biomarker testing, including clinical trial options. The guide can also be used by healthcare providers to teach their patients about how biomarker test results are used to make decisions about optimal treatment and clinical trial options.

Understanding Your Cancer Can Lead to Better Treatment Options This tool is designed for people with solid tumor cancer to use in communication about biomarker results with their healthcare providers.



Was my tumor tested for biomarkers*?

Let’s discuss your options.

Suggested questions to ask your team:


1. Has the cancer been tested for all biomarkers? 2. When is a tissue biomarker test necessary? 3. When is a blood biomarker test (known as a liquid biopsy) necessary? 4. How can I get a copy of my biomarker testing report? 5. Who will explain my biomarker testing results to me? 6. Is cancer biomarker testing the same as genetic testing for inherited cancer? Are my family/children at risk? 7. Will I ever have to have more biomarker tests? Trusting your care team and treatment plan is important. Seeking a second opinion may increase your trust in your care plan.

Did my test results show any biomarkers?





No biomarkers

Yes, there are biomarkers we can use to make a treatment plan.

Yes, but none that we can use to make a treatment plan at this time.

No, because there was not enough tissue for testing.

Can you get more tissue?

Based on my biomarker results, how do we decide what is the best treatment for me?

Has my cancer been tested for all treatable biomarkers and biomarkers for clinical trials?



We could test tissue and/or your blood.

Could I get a blood test (liquid biopsy)?



Let’s discuss the approved and available treatment options.

Let’s discuss other potential treatments (i.e. clinical trials).

Based on my results,

Would more tests offer more treatment options?



Let’s discuss your options.

how do we decide if a treatment or clinical trial is right for me?

Will I need

another biopsy?

How long until I get the results from the repeat testing? Will my insurance cover the testing?

Biomarkers are changes in the cancer cells that may help guide treatment. Most biomarkers used to guide treatment plans are not passed on to children/family. *

What resources are available to help pay


for the costs?


Developed by LUNGevity Foundation in partnership with clinical experts and cancer patients

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