Genetic testing and testing for pancreatic cancer
Any person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer meets national guidelines for genetic testing for an . Genetic testing may be used to guide treatment selection.
- People who test positive for an inherited or mutation may respond better to a treatment regimen that includes a type of chemotherapy known as platinum. They may also benefit from with a type of known as a .
- People who test positive for other inherited gene mutations may qualify for clinical trials looking at targeted therapies.
- People who test positive for a gene mutation may benefit from treatment with an agent.
testing for treatment selection
tests look at samples of blood, tumor or other tissue for changes or abnormalities caused by cancer. These tests can give doctors clues about the cancer, including:
- how fast the cancer is growing
- which treatments are most likely to work
- whether or not the cancer is responding to treatment or growing
- whether or not the cancer has come back after remission
tests may be used to select treatments, and help patients avoid side effects from treatments that will not work for them. tests used to select a specific treatment are sometimes called "companion diagnostic tests." These tests may be done on tumor tissue or (in many cases) on blood. See our Testing section for more information.
Examples of tests used in pancreatic cancer include:
- Some pancreatic cancers will have an abnormality known as MSI-H (“ high") also known as "" ( or ). MSI-H cancers are common in people with a gene mutation. These cancers may respond well to a type of treatment known as an immune checkpoint inhibitor. One example of an agent used for cancers is Keytruda (pembrolizumab).
- Some cancers have a specific genetic change called an NTRK fusion, which can be found on tumor testing. People whose tumor test reveals an NTRK fusion may benefit from the Vitrakvi (larotrectinib).
- Additional tests may help identify people who are elegible for certain clinical trials.