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Biomarker testing allows cancer patients to receive optimal treatment – and perhaps even avoid chemotherapy.

So explains Sakeer Hussain, MD, in “Biomarker Testing: Allowing Individualized Treatment for Cancer Patients,” a new policy brief from the Alliance for Patient Access.

By examining the biological components from a biopsy, health care professionals can use biomarker tests to predict which treatments will work best for a patient. Biomarker testing unlocks a world of information about each patient and can help inform health care providers on the path forward.

The Benefits of Biomarkers

According to Dr. Hussain, “biomarker testing allows for a new level of individualization.” These tests are considered part of precision medicine, an approach that emphasizes developing treatment plans for each patient based on unique conditions and needs.

Biomarker testing provides clarity, empowering health care providers to:

With a precise diagnosis and individualized treatment plan, some patients can even avoid chemotherapy. That’s because biomarker testing eliminates uncertainty by indicating which targeted medications are most likely to work for the patient.

Available Doesn’t Mean Accessible

The field is expanding so rapidly that some physicians struggle to keep up to date, Dr. Hussain explains. Meanwhile, patients may face barriers such as:

As cancer care advances, Dr. Hussain concludes, cancer patients need access to testing that will provide them with optimal treatment.

To learn more, read “Biomarker Testing: Allowing Individualized Treatment for Cancer Patients.”

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