Many melanoma patients have a mutation in a gene called BRAF in their tumours. These patients are then more sensitive to targeted therapies which have significantly improved patient outcome in recent years.
Clinical diagnostic methods that can accurately identify BRAF mutated patients and the types of mutations are critical to the clinical management of patients. In order to make sure that the methods being used were the best possible, DNA from patients of the Melbourne Melanoma Project and a second group of patients from Western Australia were exchanged and tested independently in two laboratories using four different methods for the detection of BRAF. The tests were carried out at the Peter MacCallum Pathology Department in collaboration with Barry Iacopetta at the Translational Cancer Research Laboratory at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia.
Recently published in Scientific Reports, the study found that current methods of clinical testing were highly accurate between the two sites. This included a high concordance in the detection of rarer but still significant BRAF mutation types
The findings of this study have confirmed that the strategy for the detection of BRAF mutations for the Melbourne Melanoma Project gives accurate diagnostic information. For those wishing to see the publication, it is open access, and available via the link below.
Richter A, Grieu F, Carrello A, Amanuel B, Namdarian K, Rynska A, Lucas A, Michael V, Bell A, Fox SB, Hewitt CA, Do H, McArthur GA, Wong SQ, Dobrovic A, Iacopetta B. A multisite blinded study for the detection of BRAF mutations in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded malignant melanoma. Sci Rep. 2013 Apr 15;3:1659.
To download the paper please click here.