We are living in an era in which targeted therapies are becoming increasingly important in cancer treatment. There is growing evidence suggesting that through the tailoring of cancer treatments to the tumor landscape, we can improve treatment outcomes in all types of treatments, including immunotherapy.[1,2]
However, to use and tailor those therapies, we must first make sure that we can rely on the tumor biopsy specimens that are used to base our decisions on treatment choices. The collection of biopsy specimens often comes with their share of issues, such as not yielding enough tumor tissue for analysis or being inadequate for next-generation sequencing. These issues are becoming increasingly common. To get better tissue yield, we need to have better tissue selection, which must take into account tumor heterogeneity.
A new article by Xu et al describes a new centralized web-based lesion selection tool (LST or the Naing tool) that targets this problem and allows for tracking of the biopsied lesions by facilitating coordination, performance, and management of longitudinal biopsy specimens. Being able to perform a biopsy on the same lesions consistently before, during, and after a treatment will tell us the effect of the drug, tumor microenvironment, and resistance and response mechanisms.
The Naing tool provides valuable information on dynamic changes in the tumor microenvironment; thus, playing a key role in guiding possible next-line therapies.
Sources of support: None. Conflicts of interest: None.