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05.02.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Virchows Archiv 1/2019

European follow-up of incorrect biomarker results for colorectal cancer demonstrates the importance of quality improvement projects

Zeitschrift:
Virchows Archiv > Ausgabe 1/2019
Autoren:
Cleo Keppens, Kelly Dufraing, Han J. van Krieken, Albert G. Siebers, George Kafatos, Kimberly Lowe, Gaston Demonty, Elisabeth M. C. Dequeker
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00428-019-02525-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Quality in Pathology

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Abstract

Biomarker analysis for colorectal cancer has been shown to be reliable in Europe with 97% of samples tested by EQA participants to be correctly classified. This study focuses on errors during the annual EQA assessment. The aim was to explore the causes and actions related to the observed errors and to provide feedback and assess any improvement between 2016 and 2017. An electronic survey was sent to all laboratories with minimum one genotyping error or technical failure on ten tumor samples. A workshop was organized based on 2016 survey responses. Improvement of performance in 2017 was assessed for returning participants (n = 76), survey respondents (n = 13) and workshop participants (n = 4). Survey respondents and workshop participants improved in terms of (maximum) analysis score, successful participation, and genotyping errors compared to all returning participants. In 2016, mostly pre- and post-analytical errors (both 25%) were observed caused by unsuitability of the tumor tissue for molecular analysis. In 2017, most errors were due to analytical problems (50.0%) caused by methodological problems. The most common actions taken (n = 58) were protocol revisions (34.5%) and staff training (15.5%). In 24.1% of issues identified no action was performed. Corrective actions were linked to an improved performance, especially if performed by the pathologist. Although biomarker testing has improved over time, error occurrence at different phases stresses the need for quality improvement throughout the test process. Participation to quality improvement projects and a close collaboration with the pathologist can have a positive influence on performance.

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