Background:The external quality assurance (EQA) process aims at establishing laboratory performance levels. Leading European groups in the fields of EQA, Pathology, and Medical and Thoracic Oncology collaborated in a pilot EQA scheme for somatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutational analysis in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Methods:EQA samples generated from cell lines mimicking clinical samples were provided to participating laboratories, each with a mock clinical case. Participating laboratories performed the analysis using their usual method(s). Anonymous results were assessed and made available to all participants. Two subsequent EQA rounds followed the pilot scheme.Results:One hundred and seventeen labs from 30 countries registered and 91 returned results. Sanger sequencing and a commercial kit were the main methodologies used. The standard of genotyping was suboptimal, with a significant number of genotyping errors made. Only 72 out of 91 (72%) participants passed the EQA. False-negative and-positive results were the main sources of error. The quality of reports submitted was acceptable; most were clear, concise and easy to read. However, some participants reported the genotyping result in the absence of any interpretation and many obscured the interpretation required for clinical care.Conclusions:Even in clinical laboratories, the technical performance of genotyping in EGFR mutation testing for NSCLC can be improved, evident from a high level of diagnostic errors. Robust EQA can contribute to global optimisation of EGFR testing for NSCLC patients.
- EGFR gene mutations
- non-small-cell lung carcinoma
- quality assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research