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A. Ottevaere

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    MINI 22 - New Technology (ID 134)

    • Event: WCLC 2015
    • Type: Mini Oral
    • Track: Biology, Pathology, and Molecular Testing
    • Presentations: 1
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      MINI22.06 - The Challenge of Molecular Testing for Clinical Trials in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients: Analysis of a Prospective Database (ID 1240)

      16:45 - 18:15  |  Author(s): A. Ottevaere

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Molecular testing has become important in managing advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), both in clinical practice, as well as in clinical trials. For the latter, tissue samples often have to be analysed in a central laboratory. We evaluated the turnaround time and possible delay in start of therapy in this process.

      We reviewed our prospective database on all molecular testing cases for clinical trial suitability in patients with advanced NSCLC between March 1, 2011 (start) and October 31, 2014. The following time points were considered: T1 (request for tissue sections from the pathology lab); T2 (receipt of sections and shipment); T3 (arrival of sections in central lab (CL)); T4 (receipt of biomarker result from CL).

      251 patients were considered for biomarker-driven trials. Twenty-three cases did not have further analysis, as the request for central molecular testing was cancelled: insufficient tissue (n=11); exclusion criterion (n=10); patient refusal (n=2). Results for the remaining 228 patients were: failure of central biomarker analysis due to insufficient quantity of tissue (n=18), or quality of tissue (n=3, i.e. decalcification or poor fixation). Valuable results were obtained for 207 patients. In 91 of 228 (39.9%) samples sent, a biomarker of interest was documented. This led to 34 clinical trial inclusions. Other patients were no longer eligible due to loss of performance status (n=20), loss of contact (n=14), no trial slot available at the appropriate time (n=18), or exclusion criteria (n=5). The mean waiting time between signing informed consent (T1) and receiving results of the biomarker analysis (T4) was 25.1 calendar (SD 17.3) days (Table). The preparation of the unstained slides by the pathology lab took about 9.1 (SD 6.8) days, the time of the biomarker testing itself accounted for 12.8 (SD 7.3) days. For 18 of 228 (7.9%) patients, repeated sample shipments were needed because of insufficient tumor cells, their mean waiting time between informed consent and receiving the biomarker result was 62.2 (SD 38.4) days. Table: Waiting times (t) in molecular testing for 228 patients.

      Time interval Mean StDev Median Range
      Pathology lab (T2-T1) 9.1 6.8 7.0 1 - 70
      Shipment (T3-T2) 1.8 1.6 1.0 0 - 17
      Analysis (T4-T3) 12.8 7.3 12.0 2 - 58
      Request to result (T4-T1) 25.1 17.3 22.0 7 - 184

      While molecular testing is important in many NSCLC trials, our results show that waiting times for central laboratory analysis can cause an important delay in treatment initiation, and even ineligibility for the trial(s) under consideration. Start of therapy based on properly validated local testing, with a posteriori central biomarker testing to guarantee the integrity of the trial, would be more rewarding for quite some patients.

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