Exon 20: What You Need to Know About this Rare Form of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, but advancements in research and treatment are leading to improved survival rates. The American Lung Association today announced a new educational campaign to inform people with lung cancer and their caregivers about the EGFR exon 20 insertion mutation, a rare form of lung cancer that has a new targeted treatment. 

The EGFR exon 20 insertion mutation, or exon 20, is a rare form of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that accounts for up to approximately 1 in 30 lung cancer cases. It is more common in people who never smoked and in Asian persons. 

"Lung cancer research is moving at an incredible pace. This has led to improvements in early detection and treatment of the disease and has resulted in more than 45 new lung cancer treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2016,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “This campaign will educate people who are living with lung cancer about exon 20 and how to get tested for the mutation.”

Exon 20 is diagnosed through biomarker testing, which helps physicians better target and treat lung cancer. Lung cancer biomarker testing, also known as tumor, molecular, genomic or genetic testing, looks for changes in the tumor's DNA. These changes are mutations, and EGFR exon 20 is one of these mutations. Exon 20 is one of dozens of lung cancer mutations that now has a targeted therapy option, but awareness about exon 20 is low. 

If someone has EGFR positive lung cancer, they may be positive for exon 20. It is important for people with non-small cell lung cancer to speak with their healthcare provider about getting their biomarker tested for mutations such as Exon 20. They may have targeted therapies available to them. Clinical trials are also available for people living with lung cancer.

The American Lung Association, with support from Janssen, launched a comprehensive awareness campaign to educate people about exon 20 lung cancer and to encourage people with non–small-cell lung cancer to get tested for exon 20. Learn more about the exon 20 campaign and lung cancer biomarker testing at Lung.org/Exon20. 
For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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