Maria E. Arcila, MD, highlights important considerations for selecting among molecular diagnostic tests for patients with lung cancer.
Maria E. Arcila, MD, a pathologist and director of the Diagnostic Molecular Pathology Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, highlights important considerations for selecting among molecular diagnostic tests for patients with lung cancer.
A number of considerations must be taken into account up front when selecting a molecular test, according to Arcila. Typically, molecular pathologists handle tissue samples that are notably small. That aside, it is not just the size of the sample, but the quality that must be considered, she says.
For example, it is important to consider how much tumor there is in the biopsy that is being handled; when the sample size is small, it may not reach the required sensitivity.
The first decision needs to be centered on the amount of tissue in the sample in order to select the proper technology that can handle a small input. Afterwards, one needs to consider the sample size in order to determine the sensitivity of the assay.
It is also imperative to select an assay that is broad enough to provide all of the necessary answers. However, the more comprehensive assay and the more comprehensive the answer that one might receive from a molecular diagnostics test, the longer the time it takes to deliver the result, Arcila concludes.