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NCCN Including Use of VeriStrat in NSCLC Guidelines

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has approved inclusion of Biodesix's VeriStrat proteomics test in its guidelines for non-small cell lung cancer, the Boulder, Colo.-based firm said today.

The updated guidelines recommend use of the test to help determine whether NSCLC patients entering the second line of treatment should receive Genentech's Tarceva (erlotinib), a targeted therapy which has fewer side effects and offers greater convenience compared to other standard chemotherapies. The NCCN guideline recommends VeriStrat for NSCLC patients with wild-type EGFR or with unknown EGFR status.

Biodesix noted that the guidelines state that "a patient with 'poor' classification should not be offered erlotinib in the second-line setting."

While erlotinib is often used in NSCLC patients with an EFGR mutation, such a mutation is seen in only a small percentage of patients, Biodesix said. VeriStrat helps clinicians identify those who may benefit from a targeted therapy.

"The goal, from a diagnostic perspective, is to identify patients who differentially respond to available therapies in this devastating disease," Biodesix CMO Richard Hockett said in a statement. "The ability of VeriStrat to provide prognostic and therapeutic guidance to improve patient outcomes is gaining wider recognition as standard of care by inclusion in NCCN guidelines."

The NCCN's decision follows last month's decision by Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate Highmark to cover VeriStrat.