Among the estimated 230,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer in the US each year there has been a rise in the number of radical prostatectomies (RP). There is some debate over the value of immediate adjuvant therapy following RP in men with high-risk pathological features versus delayed salvage radiation therapy when signs of disease progression are observed. Thus, it would be potentially useful to inform post-RP management strategies by more clearly identifying those patients at higher risk of progression and death from prostate cancer. A 22 gene-expression assay, Decipher® (GenomeDx Biosciences), has been developed in men treated with radical prostatectomy to predict the five-year risk of metastatic prostate cancer. Published and unpublished literature was evaluated to determine the analytic validity, clinical validity and clinical utility of Decipher. Limited information is available on the analytic validity of Decipher. In both discovery and validation studies, Decipher was shown to have good performance in discriminating men with metastasis from men without metastasis five years after surgery (AUC 0.75 to 0.90). In terms of clinical utility, no evidence was found reporting improved outcomes (lower prostate cancer specific mortality and treatment related adverse effects) from using this test to guide post-operative treatment. Four studies provided weak indirect evidence of clinical utility in which 31% to 43% of post-operative treatment recommendations were changed in men with high-risk prostate cancer based on test results, with 27% to 52% of treatment recommendations changing from any treatment to no treatment.
Use of adjuvant chemotherapy remains a complex decision in the treatment of early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with risk of recurrence being the primary indicator (i.e. adjuvant chemotherapy is considered for patients at high risk of recurrence but may not be beneficial for patients at low risk). However, although several clinical and pathological factors are typically considered when assessing the risk of recurrence, none are significantly associated with clinical outcome with the exception of tumor size. GeneFx® Lung (Helomics™ Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA) is a multi-gene RNA expression signature that classifies early stage NSCLC patients as high-risk or low-risk for disease recurrence. GeneFx Lung risk category has been shown to be significantly associated with overall survival in several independent clinical studies. The published literature regarding the analytical validity, clinical validity and clinical utility of GeneFx Lung is summarized herein.
Selection of appropriate chemotherapy, including identification of platinum resistance, is critical to effective management of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). ChemoFx®, a multiple treatment marker (chemoresponse assay), has been developed to address this challenge and to improve outcomes in patients with advanced EOC. While much work has been done that has demonstrated the analytical validity of this assay, more recent studies have highlighted the unique clinical benefits offered by the assay. A prospective, multicenter trial has shown an increase in overall survival (OS) of 14 months and an increase in progression-free survival (PFS) by 3 months in patients with recurrent EOS treated by a “sensitive” therapy based on ChemoFx results. Along with other studies showing similar gains in OS and PFS, ChemoFx has been shown to be both a prognostic and predictive marker in patients with recurrent EOC where current treatment options are sorely lacking. In addition to these clinical benefits, economic analyses have shown that ChemoFx is a cost-effective intervention. Current guidelines and technology assessments relating to ChemoFx are largely outdated and refer primarily to metrics of analytical validity. Thus, in addition to analytical validity, the clinical validity, clinical utility and economic impact of ChemoFx are reviewed herein, including published literature, technology assessments by independent parties, and regulatory approvals of this marker.
In contemporary oncology practices there is an increasing emphasis on concurrent evaluation of multiple genomic alterations within the biological pathways driving tumorigenesis. At the foundation of this paradigm shift are several commercially available tumor panels using next-generation sequencing to develop a more complete molecular blueprint of the tumor. Ideally, these would be used to identify clinically actionable variants that can be matched with available molecularly targeted therapy, regardless of the tumor site or histology. Currently, there is little information available on the post-analytic processes unique to next-generation sequencing platforms used by the companies offering these tests. Additionally, evidence of clinical validity showing an association between the genetic markers curated in these tests with treatment response to approved molecularly targeted therapies is lacking across all solid-tumor types. To date, there is no published data of improved outcomes when using the commercially available tests to guide treatment decisions. The uniqueness of these tests from other genomic applications used to guide clinical treatment decisions lie in the sequencing platforms used to generate large amounts of genomic data, which have their own related issues regarding analytic and clinical validity, necessary precursors to the evaluation of clinical utility. The generation and interpretation of these data will require new evidentiary standards for establishing not only clinical utility, but also analytical and clinical validity for this emerging paradigm in oncology practice.
Of 7,028 disorders with suspected Mendelian inheritance, 1,139 are recessive and have an established molecular basis. Although individually uncommon, Mendelian diseases collectively account for ~20% of infant mortality and ~18% of pediatric hospitalizations. Molecular diagnostic testing is currently available for only ~300 recessive disorders. Preconception screening, together with genetic counseling of carriers, has resulted in remarkable declines in the incidence of several severe recessive diseases including Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. However, extension of preconception screening and molecular diagnostic testing to most recessive disease genes has hitherto been impractical. Recently, we reported a preconception carrier screen / molecular diagnostic test for 448 recessive childhood diseases. The current status of this test is reviewed here. Currently, this reports analytical validity of the comprehensive carrier test. As the clinical validity and clinical utility in the contexts described is ascertained, this article will be updated.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Screening has been shown to be effective in reducing colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and fecal occult blood tests are all recommended screening tests that have widespread availability. Nevertheless, many people do not receive the evidence-based recommended screening for colorectal cancer. Additional stool-based methods have been developed that offer more options for colorectal cancer screening, including a variety of fecal DNA tests. The only fecal DNA test that is currently available commercially in the United States is ColoSure(TM), which is marketed as a non-invasive test that detects an epigenetic marker (methylated vimentin) associated with colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous adenomas. We examined the published literature on the analytic validity, clinical validity, and clinical utility of ColoSure and we briefly summarized the current colorectal cancer screening guidelines regarding fecal DNA testing. We also addressed the public health implications of the test and contextual issues surrounding the integration of fecal DNA testing into current colorectal cancer screening strategies. The primary goal was to provide a basic overview of ColoSure and identify gaps in knowledge and evidence that affect the recommendation and adoption of the test in colorectal cancer screening strategies.