SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Cancer patients would have easier access to certain tests doctors use to determine their best treatment options under legislation that state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, recently voted to approve.
“Even with the same diagnosis, not all patients respond to treatment the same way,” said Stuart. “Biomarker testing helps doctors personalize cancer care based on each patient’s unique characteristics, and it also offers a less invasive alternative to biopsy procedures. Unfortunately, a lot of patients don’t have access to this type of testing because it’s not covered by their insurance company.”
Stuart supported House Bill 1779 to expand insurance coverage for biomarker testing, which analyzes a patient’s tissue, blood or other biospecimen for signs of disease or abnormal function. By detecting changes in cancer cells, the tests can predict how fast cancer will spread, as well as how it will respond to a particular treatment.
“This bill takes an important step toward improving the quality of cancer care, while reducing costs and wait times for patients to receive life-changing treatment,” said Stuart. “I was glad to see it pass the Senate yesterday and look forward to this measure being signed into law.”