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Clinical implementation of RNA signatures for pharmacogenomic decision-making

Authors Tang, Hu, Muallem, Gulley ML

Published 8 September 2011 Volume 2011:4 Pages 95—107

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PGPM.S14888

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Weihua Tang1, Zhiyuan Hu2, Hind Muallem1, Margaret L Gulley1,2
1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 2Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, NC, USA

Abstract: RNA profiling is increasingly used to predict drug response, dose, or toxicity based on analysis of drug pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic pathways. Before implementing multiplexed RNA arrays in clinical practice, validation studies are carried out to demonstrate sufficient evidence of analytic and clinical performance, and to establish an assay protocol with quality assurance measures. Pathologists assure quality by selecting input tissue and by interpreting results in the context of the input tissue as well as the technologies that were used and the clinical setting in which the test was ordered. A strength of RNA profiling is the array-based measurement of tens to thousands of RNAs at once, including redundant tests for critical analytes or pathways to promote confidence in test results. Instrument and reagent manufacturers are crucial for supplying reliable components of the test system. Strategies for quality assurance include careful attention to RNA preservation and quality checks at pertinent steps in the assay protocol, beginning with specimen collection and proceeding through the various phases of transport, processing, storage, analysis, interpretation, and reporting. Specimen quality is checked by probing housekeeping transcripts, while spiked and exogenous controls serve as a check on analytic performance of the test system. Software is required to manipulate abundant array data and present it for interpretation by a laboratory physician who reports results in a manner facilitating therapeutic decision-making. Maintenance of the assay requires periodic documentation of personnel competency and laboratory proficiency. These strategies are shepherding genomic arrays into clinical settings to provide added value to patients and to the larger health care system.

Keywords: RNA, microarray, preanalytic, quality assurance, translational, clinical laboratory

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