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Assessing standardization of molecular testing for non-small-cell lung cancer: results of a worldwide external quality assessment (EQA) scheme for EGFR mutation testing


Patton, S; Normanno, N; Blackhall, F; Murray, S; Kerr, K M; Dietel, M; Filipits, M; Benlloch, S; Popat, S; Stahel, R; Thunnissen, E (2014). Assessing standardization of molecular testing for non-small-cell lung cancer: results of a worldwide external quality assessment (EQA) scheme for EGFR mutation testing. British Journal of Cancer, 111(2):413-420.

Abstract

Background:The external quality assurance (EQA) process aims at establishing laboratory performance levels. Leading European groups in the fields of EQA, Pathology, and Medical and Thoracic Oncology collaborated in a pilot EQA scheme for somatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutational analysis in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Methods:EQA samples generated from cell lines mimicking clinical samples were provided to participating laboratories, each with a mock clinical case. Participating laboratories performed the analysis using their usual method(s). Anonymous results were assessed and made available to all participants. Two subsequent EQA rounds followed the pilot scheme.Results:One hundred and seventeen labs from 30 countries registered and 91 returned results. Sanger sequencing and a commercial kit were the main methodologies used. The standard of genotyping was suboptimal, with a significant number of genotyping errors made. Only 72 out of 91 (72%) participants passed the EQA. False-negative and -positive results were the main sources of error. The quality of reports submitted was acceptable; most were clear, concise and easy to read. However, some participants reported the genotyping result in the absence of any interpretation and many obscured the interpretation required for clinical care.Conclusions:Even in clinical laboratories, the technical performance of genotyping in EGFR mutation testing for NSCLC can be improved, evident from a high level of diagnostic errors. Robust EQA can contribute to global optimisation of EGFR testing for NSCLC patients.

Abstract

Background:The external quality assurance (EQA) process aims at establishing laboratory performance levels. Leading European groups in the fields of EQA, Pathology, and Medical and Thoracic Oncology collaborated in a pilot EQA scheme for somatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutational analysis in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Methods:EQA samples generated from cell lines mimicking clinical samples were provided to participating laboratories, each with a mock clinical case. Participating laboratories performed the analysis using their usual method(s). Anonymous results were assessed and made available to all participants. Two subsequent EQA rounds followed the pilot scheme.Results:One hundred and seventeen labs from 30 countries registered and 91 returned results. Sanger sequencing and a commercial kit were the main methodologies used. The standard of genotyping was suboptimal, with a significant number of genotyping errors made. Only 72 out of 91 (72%) participants passed the EQA. False-negative and -positive results were the main sources of error. The quality of reports submitted was acceptable; most were clear, concise and easy to read. However, some participants reported the genotyping result in the absence of any interpretation and many obscured the interpretation required for clinical care.Conclusions:Even in clinical laboratories, the technical performance of genotyping in EGFR mutation testing for NSCLC can be improved, evident from a high level of diagnostic errors. Robust EQA can contribute to global optimisation of EGFR testing for NSCLC patients.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Oncology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 July 2014
Deposited On:17 Jul 2014 12:35
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 06:29
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0007-0920
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2014.353
PubMed ID:24983368

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