The knowledge on molecular alterations in lung cancer have increased during the last decade considerably. Almost every year new genes were detected being targetable, and drugs have been developed and provided for those patients being diagnosed with such a lung cancer. Therefore, it was necessary to update previous recommendations to facilitate a uniform handling for the diagnosis and molecular tests of lung cancer specimen all over Austria. Originally mutation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was the only actionable molecular alteration, now there are more than 10 driver mutations known, and more are detected, and clinical studies are performed. In addition, the technique to test for these mutations have improved, next generation sequencing has opened the option to test several genes in one test. Immuno-oncology has entered the field, and besides the checkpoint death receptor and ligand molecules PD-1/PD-L1 more molecules have been detected and are also tested in clinical studies.
To provide equal opportunities to our patients the tests have to be implemented in all pathological institutes involved in lung cancer management. Because pathologists as part of the tumor board have to explain the diagnosis and the molecular alterations and suggest possible treatment options, the tests should be performed in-house, which will provide the optimal quality control.