Genetic testing of tumour tissue

Ever since the introduction of so-called “targeted drugs” (antibodies or inhibitor molecules) capable of attacking cancerous cells in a specific manner, the practice of studying tumour genetics has become a vital tool in helping oncologists to decide on the best course of treatment for their cancer patients.

Here at the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital, the genetic testing of tumour tissue (analysis of gene mutations and cytogenetics) is the responsibility of the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Pathological Anatomy Unit.

Separate tests are available in agreement with the Regional Health System, although the Laboratory can also provide private patients with complete “cancer gene panel” testing for each particular form of the disease. Gene panels are available for a wide range of cancers – breast, lung, colon and stomach cancers and melanoma (skin cancer).

Not only does the Molecular Biology Laboratory use the latest certified reagents and diagnostic kits, its work is also constantly monitored against Italian and European quality control standards while the range of tests it offers is continually updated to keep pace with the drugs regulated for use in Italy by the Italian Medicines Agency [Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco].

Test

The cancer gene panels available are:

Lung cancer

  • EGFR and K-RAS gene mutation
  • ALK and ROS1 gene rearrangement
  • C-MET and Her2/neu gene amplification

Colon cancer

  • K-RAS, B-RAF and N-RAS gene mutation

Breast cancer

  • Immunohistochemical staining for prognostic factors (ER, PGR, Ki-67, ErbB2)
  • Her2/neu gene amplification

Stomach cancer

  • Immunohistochemical staining for ErbB2 expression
  • Her2/neu gene amplification

Melanoma (Skin cancer)

  • B-RAF gene mutation

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