Molecular genetics external quality assessment pilot scheme for KRAS analysis in metastatic colorectal cancer.
ABSTRACT Laboratories are increasingly required to perform molecular tests for the detection of mutations in the KRAS gene in metastatic colorectal cancers to allow better clinical management and more effective treatment for these patients. KRAS mutation status predicts a patient's likely response to the monoclonal antibody cetuximab. To provide a high standard of service, these laboratories require external quality assessment (EQA) to monitor the level of laboratory output and measure the performance of the laboratory against other service providers. National External Quality Assurance Services for Molecular Genetics provided a pilot EQA scheme for KRAS molecular analysis in metastatic colorectal cancers during 2009. Very few genotyping errors were reported by participating laboratories; however, the reporting nomenclature of the genotyping results varied considerably between laboratories. The pilot EQA scheme highlighted the need for continuing EQA in this field which will assess the laboratories' ability not only to obtain accurate, reliable results but also to interpret them safely and correctly ensuring that the referring clinician has the correct information to make the best clinical therapeutic decision for their patient.
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ABSTRACT: Tumor evaluation in pathology is increasingly based on a combination of traditional histopathology and molecular analysis. Due to the rapid development of new cancer treatments that specifically target aberrant proteins present in tumor cells, treatment decisions are increasingly based on the molecular features of the tumor. Not only the number of patients eligible for targeted precision medicine, but also the number of molecular targets per patient and tumor type is rising. Diagnostic molecular pathology, the discipline that determines the molecular aberrations present in tumors for diagnostic, prognostic or predictive purposes, is faced with true challenges. The laboratories have to meet the need of comprehensive molecular testing using only limited amount of tumor tissue, mostly fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin (FFPE), in short turnaround time. Choices must be made for analytical methods that provide accurate, reliable and cost-effective results. Validation of the test procedures and results is essential. In addition, participation and good performance in internal (IQA) and external quality assurance (EQA) schemes is mandatory. In this review, we critically evaluate the validation procedure for comprehensive molecular tests as well as the organization of quality assurance and assessment of competence of diagnostic molecular pathology laboratories within Europe.Molecular Oncology 06/2014; 8(4). DOI:10.1016/j.molonc.2014.03.004 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Analysis of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) tissue for KRAS codon 12 or 13 mutations to guide use of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapy is now considered mandatory in the UK. The scope of this practice has been recently extended because of data indicating that NRAS mutations and additional KRAS mutations also predict for poor response to anti-EGFR therapy. The following document provides guidance on RAS (i.e., KRAS and NRAS) testing of CRC tissue in the setting of personalised medicine within the UK and particularly within the NHS. This guidance covers issues related to case selection, preanalytical aspects, analysis and interpretation of such RAS testing.Journal of Clinical Pathology 07/2014; 67(9). DOI:10.1136/jclinpath-2014-202467 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Detection of DNA mutations in tumor tissue can be a critical companion diagnostic test before prescription of a targeted therapy. Each method for detection of these mutations is associated with an analytic sensitivity that is a function of the percentage of tumor cells present in the specimen. Currently, tumor cell percentage is visually estimated resulting in an ordinal and highly variant result for a biologically continuous variable. We proposed that this aspect of DNA mutation testing could be standardized by developing a computer algorithm capable of accurately determining the percentage of malignant nuclei in an image of a hematoxylin and eosin-stained tissue. Using inForm software, we developed an algorithm, to calculate the percentage of malignant cells in histologic specimens of colon adenocarcinoma. A criterion standard was established by manually counting malignant and benign nuclei. Three pathologists also estimated the percentage of malignant nuclei in each image. Algorithm #9 had a median deviation from the criterion standard of 5.4% on the training set and 6.2% on the validation set. Compared with pathologist estimation, Algorithm #9 showed a similar ability to determine percentage of malignant nuclei. This method represents a potential future tool to assist in determining the percent of malignant nuclei present in a tissue section. Further validation of this algorithm or an improved algorithm may have value to more accurately assess percentage of malignant cells for companion diagnostic mutation testing.Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology: AIMM / official publication of the Society for Applied Immunohistochemistry 10/2013; 22(5). DOI:10.1097/PAI.0b013e318299a1f6 · 2.06 Impact Factor