As a health advocate, you play a vital role in educating patients on their disease and their options. This site discusses TRK fusion cancer and offers you important tools that you can share with patients, so they understand their disease and get the right care.
Each person’s cancer diagnosis is different. Yet, with traditional cancer medicine, patients have been treated the same.
Each person’s cancer diagnosis is different. Yet,
with traditional cancer medicine, patients have
been treated the same.
Today, there is a shift toward precision medicine, allowing doctors to offer more individualized treatments to many patients. Precision medicine takes into account genes, lifestyle, and environment to tailor a treatment approach that makes sense for that person.
With this, genomic cancer testing is also
becoming more common. This type of testing
can identify the genomic alteration(s) that may
have caused the cancer.
Different testing methodologies can be used to detect TRK fusion cancer:
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) provides a comprehensive view of a large number of genes and may identify NTRK gene fusions as well as other actionable genomic alterations.
uses antibodies to detect the
presence of a protein in a
Fluorescence in situ
hybridization (FISH) is a
laboratory technique used to look
at specific pieces of the DNA
binding to fluorescent probes,
which “light up” when viewed
under a microscope. In this test,
one alteration lights up at a time.
Reverse transcription polymerase
chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a
multi-step process that makes many copies of a specific DNA segment to identify known translocation
partners and breakpoints, but can
only detect a limited number of alterations, out of many.
While only a doctor can decide which test(s) to run, patients can educate themselves
in order to have an informed discussion with their doctor. Wherever they are in
their journey, encourage patients to learn more and ask their doctor about
genomic cancer testing.
TRK fusion cancer is a term used to describe a variety of common and rare cancers that are caused by a change to the NTRK gene called a fusion. TRK fusion cancers can be detected by genomic cancer testing.
There are 3 NTRK genes: NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3. During gene fusion, an NTRK gene joins together, or fuses, with a different gene. This joining results in the activation of certain proteins (TRK fusion proteins), which can cause cancer cells to multiply and form a tumor.
Genomic cancer testing can identify genomic markers, such as ALK, EGFR, HER2, ROS1, BRAF,
and NTRK gene fusions.
Some genomic changes tend to cause tumors in certain areas of the body. In TRK fusion cancer, the genomic change (NTRK gene fusion) can cause cancer to begin in a different part of the body, depending on the patient.
Patients are likely to understand their cancer in terms of the site or location, such as lung or colon cancer. Having TRK fusion cancer doesn’t change their original diagnosis; it just means that a genomic abnormality (NTRK gene fusion) that can occur in multiple sites in the body is the driver of their tumor.
Access our educational resource materials that can help patients understand their disease.