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Diagnosing Lung Cancer: The Complexities of Obtaining a Tissue Diagnosis in the Era of Minimally Invasive and Personalised Medicine

1
Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
2
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(7), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7070163
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
The role of the respiratory physician in diagnosing lung cancer has increased in complexity over the last 20 years. Adenocarcinoma is now the prevailing histopathological sub-type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) resulting in more peripheral cancers. Conventional bronchoscopy is often not sufficient to obtain adequate tissue samples for diagnosis. Radiologically guided transthoracic biopsy is a sensitive alternative, but carries significant risks. These limitations have driven the development of complimentary bronchoscopic navigation techniques for peripheral tumour localisation and sampling. Furthermore, linear endobronchial ultrasound with transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) is increasingly being chosen as the initial diagnostic procedure for those with central lesions and/or radiological evidence of node-positive disease. This technique can diagnose and stage patients in a single, minimally invasive procedure with a diagnostic yield equivalent to that of surgical mediastinoscopy. The success of molecular targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors in NSCLC has led to the increasing challenge of obtaining adequate specimens for accurate tumour subtyping through minimally invasive procedures. This review discusses the changing epidemiology and treatment landscape of lung cancer and explores the utility of current diagnostic options in obtaining a tissue diagnosis in this new era of precision medicine. View Full-Text
Keywords: lung cancer; diagnosis; staging; bronchoscopy; EBUS-TBNA; interventional pulmonology; molecular testing; immunological testing lung cancer; diagnosis; staging; bronchoscopy; EBUS-TBNA; interventional pulmonology; molecular testing; immunological testing
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McLean, A.E.B.; Barnes, D.J.; Troy, L.K. Diagnosing Lung Cancer: The Complexities of Obtaining a Tissue Diagnosis in the Era of Minimally Invasive and Personalised Medicine. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 163.

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