Predictive molecular pathology in the time of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Europe.

Published on Jun 1, 2021in Journal of Clinical Pathology2.46
· DOI :10.1136/JCLINPATH-2020-206957
Umberto Malapelle29
Estimated H-index: 29
(University of Naples Federico II),
Pasquale Pisapia17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Naples Federico II)
+ 26 AuthorsGiancarlo Troncone55
Estimated H-index: 55
(University of Naples Federico II)
AIMS: Lung cancer predictive biomarker testing is essential to select advanced-stage patients for targeted treatments and should be carried out without delays even during health emergencies, such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. METHODS: Fifteen molecular laboratories from seven different European countries compared 4 weeks of national lockdown to a corresponding period in 2019, in terms of tissue and/or plasma-based molecular test workload, analytical platforms adopted, number of cases undergoing programmed death-ligand1 (PD-L1) expression assessment and DNA-based molecular tests turnaround time. RESULTS: In most laboratories (80.0%), tissue-based molecular test workload was reduced. In 40.0% of laboratories (6/15), the decrease was >25%, and in one, reduction was as high as 80.0%. In this instance, a concomitant increase in liquid biopsy was reported (60.0%). Remarkably, in 33.3% of the laboratories, real-time PCR (RT-PCR)-based methodologies increased, whereas highly multiplexing assays approaches decreased. Most laboratories (88.9%) did not report significant variations in PD-L1 volume testing. CONCLUSIONS: The workload of molecular testing for patients with advanced-stage lung cancer during the lockdown showed little variations. Local strategies to overcome health emergency-related issues included the preference for RT-PCR tissue-based testing methodologies and, occasionally, for liquid biopsy.
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