The Spectrum of Clinical Utilities in Molecular Pathology Testing Procedures for Inherited Conditions and Cancer: A Report of the Association for Molecular Pathology.

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The Journal of molecular diagnostics


Clinical utility describes the benefits of each laboratory test for that patient. Many stakeholders have adopted narrow definitions for the clinical utility of molecular testing as applied to targeted pharmacotherapy in oncology, regardless of the population tested or the purpose of the testing. This definition does not address all of the important applications of molecular diagnostic testing. Definitions consistent with a patient-centered approach emphasize and recognize that a clinical test result's utility depends on the context in which it is used and are particularly relevant to molecular diagnostic testing because of the nature of the information they provide. Debates surrounding levels and types of evidence needed to properly evaluate the clinical value of molecular diagnostics are increasingly important because the growing body of knowledge, stemming from the increase of genomic medicine, provides many new opportunities for molecular testing to improve health care. We address the challenges in defining the clinical utility of molecular diagnostics for inherited diseases or cancer and provide assessment recommendations. Starting with a modified analytic validity, clinical validity, clinical utility, and ethical, legal, and social implications model for addressing clinical utility of molecular diagnostics with a variety of testing purposes, we recommend promotion of patient-centered definitions of clinical utility that appropriately recognize the valuable contribution of molecular diagnostic testing to improve patient care.

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Asymptomatic Diseases; Clinical Trials as Topic; Delivery of Health Care; Genetic Diseases, Inborn; Humans; Medical Oncology; Molecular Diagnostic Techniques; Neoplasms; Pathology, Molecular; Prognosis

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