A companion diagnostic test provides information that is essential for the safe and effective use of a corresponding therapeutic product as indicated in the drug instructions. The implementation of a companion diagnostic follows the rules of a molecular test for somatic mutations in a routine clinical laboratory environment and needs guidance on practical aspects, including the choice of the proper analytical method and the procedures for internal and external quality controls. Selection of the appropriate assay for detection of genetic alterations depends on several factors: the type of mutation under study, the sample to be assayed and its preparation procedure. In addition, the results of a molecular assay require a complex interpretation process of the analytical data as the patient's genotype, the translation of the identified variant into a predicted phenotype and knowledge on restrictions of the method used. In relation to these aspects herein we report an opinion paper of the Working Group Personalized Laboratory Medicine jointly constituted by the European Federation of Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) and by the European Society of Pharmacogenomics and Theranostics (ESPT) using, as an example, the BRAF genotype analysis in tumor tissue samples for identification of melanoma patients that can benefit treatment with BRAF inhibitors. The manuscript is focused on the following aspects: i) medical rationale, ii) methodologies of analysis, iii) laboratory performance evaluation and iv) the laboratory specific report for the clinicians. The critical evaluation of these aspects would be useful for the implementation of a companion diagnostic in the clinical laboratory.

BRAF, Companion diagnostics, Melanoma, Molecular analysis, Targeted therapy
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2014.10.020, hdl.handle.net/1765/88631
Clinica Chimica Acta
Department of Clinical Chemistry

Mancini, I, Pinzani, P, Simi, L, Brandslund, I, Vermeersch, P, Di Resta, C, … Pazzagli, M. (2015). Implementation of a companion diagnostic in the clinical laboratory: The BRAF example in melanoma. Clinica Chimica Acta, 439, 128–136. doi:10.1016/j.cca.2014.10.020