February 6, 2015

The hype over genetic tests

Implementation of a companion diagnostic in the clinical laboratory:The BRAF example in melanoma

Analytical validity is one of the three steps for any assessment of genetic tests, combined with clinical validity and clinical utility. Understanding how this process affects specific tests is not that easy.Fortunately you can find a detailed explanation of one of them:the BRAF genotype analysis in tumor tissue samples for identification of melanoma patients that can benefit treatment with BRAF inhibitors.
Once you begin to read the article you'll understand the complexity of being precise in a test. This is the reason why if specificity and sensibility is uncertain, different methodologies are needed (check Figure 1).
But how to do it?. How to set up external controls of quality?. All these issues are covered in this article, that explains what's going on in practical terms. I'm concerned if due to such complexity, all "genetic test talent" is not concentrated in one site of the organization-hospital, and many departments and services -oncology or cardiology- are developing their own genetic tests. Somebody should block this option before it is too late.