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Biomarkers to Inform Lung Cancer Treatment:
Understanding Access and Utilization in Missouri

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Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, discoveries in cancer genomics have revolutionized oncology treatment, leading to a shift from a “one-size-fits-all” treatment model to a more precise strategy that tailors treatment to fit the characteristics of a specific patient’s cancer cells- precision medicine. This is informed by the use of biomarker testing, also called molecular testing or tumor profiling.


To accompany a recent report on lung cancer screening and diagnosis trends in Missouri, the Midwest Health Initiative (MHI) undertook quantitative and qualitative analysis to: 

  1. Evaluate employer and commercial health plan coverage of biomarker testing to inform lung cancer treatment for Missourians.

  2. Assess trends in biomarker testing utilization among commercially-insured Missourians diagnosed with lung cancer.


Though “biomarker testing” can refer to a wide range of measurements, this report focuses on biomarker tests that characterize tumor cells to determine treatment options for patients diagnosed with cancer.

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