Findings of a recent study have shown that prognostic information provided by the VeriStrat test by Biodesix, Boulder, Colo, can improve care for lung cancer patients and assist physicians in meeting several quality measures associated with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ oncology care model (OCM) payment program.1 Results are from a comprehensive literature review conducted to assess the completeness of prognostic indicators commonly used in lung cancer, as well as the value of the proteomic VeriStrat biomarker test in addressing unmet prognostic needs.

Biodesix’s VeriStrat test is a predictive and prognostic blood-based proteomic test for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The test is used to assess disease aggressiveness by characterizing host response to the tumor, classifying patients as either VeriStrat-good or VeriStrat-poor.

“We found that there is near universal consensus in guidelines and literature regarding the critical importance and value of early, candid, and ongoing physician-patient discussions about prognosis,” says David B. Nash, MD, MBA, dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health and a study author. “Unfortunately, traditional prognostic indicators such as patient-performance status and population statistics often provide an incomplete picture specifically related to lung cancer. Our review suggests that validated tools such as the VeriStrat test can help to bridge this gap and may assist physicians in guiding more precise treatment decisions to meet the requirements of cancer care quality measures such as those in the OCM.”

The authors surveyed literature from 1997 to 2017 to understand the value of prognosis in cancer care planning for NSCLC and to investigate how the results of the validated VeriStrat test can help physicians participating in the OCM meet the model’s specific quality measures. Three of the authors also integrated relevant case studies from their own real-world clinical experience with VeriStrat.

The resulting manuscript concludes that VeriStrat testing may help physicians establish prognosis in NSCLC, guide optimal treatment decisions, predict expected response to treatment, avoid costly and ineffective treatment, and identify patients for whom best supportive care may be most appropriate.


David Brunel, Biodesix.

“VeriStrat testing can address physicians’ need for a prognostic tool that can facilitate shared decisionmaking discussions and inform treatment decisions. Patients with a poor prognosis can be identified quickly, allowing physicians to choose treatment that is best suited for more aggressive cancer,” says David Brunel, Biodesix CEO. “It’s gratifying that this comprehensive, independent review has determined that this test provides a wide range of meaningful benefits for physicians, patients, and their caregivers.”

When lacking precise tools, physicians may find it difficult to have candid conversations with patients, their families, and their caregivers about prognosis. Many patients therefore do not understand the implications of prognosis with respect to curative versus palliative therapy. Prognostic biomarker tests such as VeriStrat are useful for predicting and documenting expected response to treatment, avoiding ineffective and costly overtreatment, and facilitating meaningful conversations with patients about the timing of best supportive care when appropriate, all of which may improve cancer care planning and quality scores under the OCM.

VeriStrat testing has been shown to provide accurate predictions of patient response in all lines of therapy and in various treatments for patients with NSCLC, including chemotherapies and EGFR-TKI therapies. It is the only test available that delivers this type of prognostic information.

“Accurate prognostic tools can help facilitate shared patient-physician discussions, including conversations about the difficult tradeoffs that must be made between aggressive treatment, life extension, and quality of life,” explains Nash. “We have also found that they can be a critical tool for healthcare providers in complying with multiple components of cancer care plans and quality measures.”

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  1. Page RD, Argento AC, Nash DB, Skoufalos A, Schaefer ES. The role of proteomic testing in improving prognosis and care planning quality measures for lung cancer. Managed Care. 2017;26(9):37–47. Available at: Accessed 25 October 2017.