United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Service (UK NEQAS) for Molecular Genetics choose PathXL digital pathology software to run a national scheme to assess consistency of tumour analysis for molecular pathology testing, as part of ensuring the high quality standard of Genomics England 100,000 Genome Project.
Belfast, Northern Ireland, November 30, 2015 — PathXL are proud to have been selected by UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics as the digital pathology provider to support their innovative quality assurance scheme aiming to examine the accuracy in tumour identification and quantification on H&E samples by Genomic Medicine Centre (GMC) laboratories taking part in the 100,000 Genome Project.
Molecular pathology and nucleic extraction in solid tumour relies on the pathological review of H&E stained tissue sections to annotate tumour regions for enrichment by macrodissection. This enables the estimation of the proportion of tumour nuclei within macrodissected areas which is necessary to ensure sample quality, sufficiency of tumour DNA for analysis and ultimately the precision of the molecular test result. For the 100,000 Genome Project this is critical to deliver high quality whole genome sequencing and allow accurate interpretation of the variants detected. It is known that the annotation of tumour and estimation of percentage of tumour nuclei can be highly variable between pathologists and between laboratories, which may lead to inaccurate molecular profiling and false negative results. Thus, there is a need to measure the degree of variation between laboratories and standardize approaches to tumour annotation and analysis to promote high quality testing.
As well as facilitating the viewing of the slides, PathXL EQA software allows for all questions to be recorded within it, including annotations for macrodissection. Individuals from participating molecular pathology laboratories will be asked to mark the regions of tumour they deem appropriate for macrodissection, drawing the boundary using PathXL’s EQA. They will then be prompted to make an estimation of the cellularity across the slide image and the percentage of tumour area within the annotated region.
Dr Sandi Deans, Scheme Director “The molecular pathology tissue assessment module developed in collaboration with PathXL will help drive high standards and good quality molecular pathology testing across the country. This will initially be part of the 100,000 Genomes project and will then be developed to all laboratories providing a clinical molecular pathology testing service.”
Des Speed, PathXL CEO “PathXL exists to provide cutting edge software in Digital Pathology. We are delighted to be supporting UK NEQAS in this very important project to enhance the work of Genomics England.”
PathXL is a global pioneer in the use of web-based solutions for digital pathology, and provides innovative software for use in drug discovery research, biomarker analysis and education. Their product for the automated identification and annotation of tumour tissue, TissueMark, was awarded the Frost and Sullivan 2014 European New Product Innovation Award for Automated Image Analysis for Digital Pathology.
About UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics
UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics provides external quality assessment for a range of inherited diseases and acquired disorders currently tested in diagnostic molecular laboratories. The Scheme gives objective information and advice to clinical laboratories throughout laboratory molecular medicine on the quality of their analytical and interpretative performance, in order to help them provide accurate and reliable test results and advice to clinicians, which facilitates optimal patient care. Advances in our understanding of genetic diseases has led to a revolution in testing technologies. UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics is committed to providing external quality assessment in this rapidly evolving field which includes bespoke assessments to ensure the quality of the samples being accepted into the 100,000 Genomes project.
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