Assessment of the 31-Gene Expression Profile Test by Dermatologists: A Cross-Sectional Survey from National Dermatology Conferences

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Justin Marson
Graham Litchman
Ryan Svoboda
Alex Glazer
Aaron Farberg
Richard Winkelmann
Darrell S. Rigel

Keywords

Melanoma, Pigmented Lesions, 31-Gene Expression Profile, Prognosis, Survey

Abstract

Background: The 31-gene expression profile (31-GEP) test uses 31 genetic markers obtained from the initial biopsy of a melanoma to assess melanoma-specific survival and sentinel lymph node positivity. 


Objective: To assess the professional understanding, opinions, and clinical usage of the 31-GEP test by dermatologists.


Methods: Data from 589 unique dermatologists were collected during 2 virtual, nation-wide dermatology conferences via  an 18-question survey on practice demographics and their clinical use and opinion of the 31-GEP test.


Results: Participants reported that integrating the 31-GEP test may benefit patients by increasing knowledge and understanding (72.5%), personalizing treatment options (58.8%), and easing uncertainty about the future (59.7%). Benefits of using the 31-GEP test included identifying true negative patients in high-risk populations (65.6%) as well as true positives in low-risk populations (70.6%).A majority of participants also noted that if a patient received a 31-GEP Class 2B result, they would escalate subsequent management even if the lesions were classified as T1 (61.4%) or AJCC8 Stage I (59.0%). 84.9% of participants were somewhat to very likely to use 31-GEP testing for patient management or recommend this test to a colleague.


Limitations: Potential respondent-selection and recall bias.


Conclusion: Dermatologists are increasingly integrating the 31-GEP test into their melanoma clinical management decisions. As the 31-GEP test becomes more prevalent in practice, patients may benefit from decreased anxiety and uncertainty from enhanced prognosis, decreased need for unwarranted procedures such as sentinel lymph node biopsy and optimized allocation of healthcare resources. 

References

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