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What is biomarker testing for cancer treatment?

Biomarker testing is a method of looking for cancer-related genes, proteins, and other chemicals (also known as biomarkers or tumor markers). Biomarkers have a distinct pattern in each person’s cancer. Some biomarkers have an impact on the effectiveness of cancer therapies. Biomarker test might aid you and your doctor in determining the best cancer treatment for you.

Other types of biomarkers can aid doctors in diagnosing and monitoring cancer during and after therapy. Visit the Tumor Markers fact page for additional information.

Biomarker testing is for cancer patients. Biomarker test is available for patients with solid tumors and blood cancer.

Biomarker testing for cancer therapy is also known as:

  • tumor examination
  • genetic testing of tumors
  • genomic profiling or genomic testing
  • molecular profiling vs. molecular testing
  • testing on the somatic
  • subtyping of cancer
  • If a biomarker test is used in conjunction with a certain therapy, it is referred to as a companion diagnostic test.

Biomarker testing is distinct from genetic test, which is done to determine if a person has inherited mutations that increase their risk of cancer. Inherited mutations are ones that you inherit from your parents. Your parents have handed them on to you.

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