OBJECTIVES: When advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) progresses during first-line treatment, re-biopsy may be indicated to detect a possible new biological profile (comparison to initial status, emergence of resistance biomarkers, or assessment of new biomarkers). The aim of this pragmatic prospective multicenter study was to assess the feasibility and clinical utility of re-biopsy in advanced NSCLC in a real-world setting.
METHODS: The main inclusion criteria were advanced NSCLC with an indication for repeat biopsy identified by the patient's clinician. The primary outcome was the percentage of successful procedures. Secondary outcomes were the type of procedure, new biological status, tolerability of the procedure, and clinical utility (treatment modification).
RESULTS: From May 2012 to May 2013, 18 centers enrolled 100 patients (males: 44%; median age: 64.8 years; PS 0/1: 88%; adenocarcinoma: 89%; EGFR mutated: 50%; no initial biological profile: 16.4%). Re-biopsy was not possible in 19.5% of cases and provided no or too few tumor cells in 25.6% of cases. Repeat biopsy was useful for guiding treatment in 30.4% (25/82) of cases. Complications were infrequent (2 cases of moderate bleeding and 1 case of pneumothorax).
CONCLUSION: Re-biopsy of advanced NSCLC is feasible in the real-world setting, with acceptable adverse events. Guidelines are needed on the indications of re-biopsy, the choice of procedure, the sampling site, and laboratory analysis.