Benjamin F Smith, Ken J Hampel, Nikoletta Sidiropoulos

Benefits of Implementing Reflex Genomic Analysis for Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer

  • General Medicine

Abstract Background Molecular biomarker analysis is standard of care in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Pathologist-driven reflex testing protocols are one approach to initiating this analysis. Two years after insourcing genomic analysis at our institution, a reflex testing protocol for advanced NSCLC was initiated. Methods A retrospective review of the records of 578 NSCLC biopsies was performed to assess the impact of 3 genomic testing workflows (send-out, in-house clinician-ordered, and in-house reflex) on time to initiation of molecular testing [initiation time (IT)], reporting time (RT), proportion of test failures, and test ordering practices. The proportion of test failures by test methodology was also assessed. Results IT was lowest for reflex protocol orders (mean weekdays: 30.0 send-out, 27.4 in-house clinician-ordered, 0.95 reflex). Test failure was highest for send-out testing (31.7% vs. 10% each for in-house clinician-ordered and reflex). RT remained consistent across the 3 workflows (mean weekdays: 11.1 send-out, 11.9 in-house clinician-ordered, and 11.4 reflex). Guideline-congruent molecular testing increased upon insourcing genomic analysis and again upon implementing reflex testing with a reduction in nonbiomarker informed care (58.8% send-out, 19.5% in-house clinician-ordered, 11.5% reflex). Conclusions Implementation of reflex in-house genomic analysis for advanced NSCLC ensured consistency in RT and significantly decreased IT and proportion of test failures. Insourcing genomic analysis and thoughtful care pathway design improve equitable access to molecular biomarker analysis and mitigate nonbiomarker informed cancer care in NSCLC.

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