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RAS testing for colorectal cancer patients is reliable in European laboratories that pass external quality assessment

Authors
  • Tack, V.
  • Ligtenberg, M. J. L.
  • Siebers, A. G.
  • Rombout, P. D. M.
  • Dabir, P. D.
  • Weren, R. D. A.
  • van Krieken, J. H. J. M.
  • Dequeker, E. M. C.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Virchows Archiv
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Jan 15, 2018
Volume
472
Issue
5
Pages
717–725
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00428-017-2291-z
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Wild-type status of KRAS and the NRAS gene (exon 2, 3, and 4) in the tumor should be determined before treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients with EGFR-targeting agents. There is a large variation in test methods to determine RAS status, and more sensitive detection methods were recently introduced. Data from quality assessment programs indicate substantial error rates. This study assessed the completeness and correctness of RAS testing in European laboratories that successfully passed external quality assessment (EQA). Participants were requested to send material of their most recent ten patients with mCRC who had been tested for RAS status. Isolated DNA, a hematoxylin and eosin stained tissue slide with a marked area for macrodissection and accompanying patient reports were requested. Samples were reevaluated in a reference laboratory by using a next-generation sequencing approach. In total, 31 laboratories sent in the requested material (n = 309). Despite regulations for anti-EGFR therapy, one institute did not perform full RAS testing. Reanalysis was possible for 274 samples with sufficient DNA available. In the hotspot codons of KRAS and NRAS, seven discordant results were obtained in total, five of them leading to a different prediction of anti-EGFR therapy efficacy (2%; n = 274). Results show that oncologists can rely on the quality of laboratories with good performance in EQA. Oncologists need to be aware that the testing laboratory participates successfully in EQA programs. Some EQA providers list the good performing laboratories on their website.

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