Evaluation of a gene expression microarray-based assay to determine tissue type of origin on a diverse set of 49 malignancies.

Date Published:

2011 Jul

Abstract:

The Tissue of Origin Frozen (TOO-FRZ) assay from Pathwork Diagnostics has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration as a diagnostic study for malignancies of unknown primary. The goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of TOO-FRZ on a diverse collection of malignancies. We collected a diverse set of 49 malignancies. We classified each case into 1 of 4 groups: common morphology from a tissue type included in the TOO-FRZ assay (n=29), uncommon morphology from a tissue type included in the TOO-FRZ assay (n=10), tumor from a tissue type not included in the TOO-FRZ assay (n=3), and malignancies of unknown primary (n=7). We found strong diagnostic performance for common morphologies from tissue types on the TOO-FRZ [overall accuracy=26 of 29 (90%, 95% CI, 73% to 97%)], with perfect performance in all tissue types except gastric (0 of 2) and pancreatic (1 of 2) tissues. There was a significant decline in performance for uncommon morphologies from tissue types included in the TOO-FRZ assay [6 of 10 (60%) cases with an indeterminate result, 1 of 10 (10%) cases with an incorrect prediction, and 3 of 10 (30%) with a correct prediction] and for tumors from tissue types not included in the assay (incorrect prediction in 2 of 3 cases). For the 7 malignancies of unknown primary in our study set, the TOO-FRZ provided a likely clinically useful result in only 2 of 7 cases. These results provide an insight into the strengths and limitations of this molecular assay for the surgical pathologist, and our findings suggest future directions for research in this area.