Main Article Content
melanoma, gene expression profile, clinical decision-making, disease management
Objective: A 31-gene expression profile (GEP) test that has been clinically validated identifies melanoma patients with low (Class 1) or high (Class 2) risk of metastasis based on primary tumor biology. This study aimed to prospectively evaluate the test impact on clinical management of melanoma patients.
Methods: Physicians at 16 dermatology, surgical or medical oncology centers examined patients to assess clinical features of the primary melanoma. Recommendations for clinical follow-up and surveillance were collected. Following consent of the patient and performance of the GEP test, recommendations for management were again collected, and pre- and post-test recommendations were assessed to determine changes in management resulting from the addition of GEP testing to traditional clinicopathologic risk factors.
Results: Post-test management plans changed for 49% (122 of 247) of cases in the study when compared to pre-test plans. Thirty-six percent (66 of 181) of Class 1 cases had a management change, compared to 85% (56 of 66) of Class 2 cases. GEP class was a significant factor for change in care during the study (p<0.001), with Class 1 accounting for 91% (39 of 43) of cases with decreased management intensity, and Class 2 accounting for 72% (49 of 68) of cases with increases.
Conclusions: The reported study show that the 31-gene GEP test improves net health outcomes in the management of cutaneous melanoma. Physicians used test results to guide risk-appropriate changes that match the biological risk of the tumor, including directing more frequent and intense surveillance to high-risk, Class 2 patients.
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