Neoplastic Cellularity Assessment in Molecular Testing A Multi-institutional Practice Survey and Performance Challenge Identifies a Need for Standardization

Kelly A. Devereaux, Rhona J. Souers, Rondell P. Graham, Bryce P. Portier, Lea F. Surrey, Anna Yemelyanova, Patricia Vasalos, Dimitri G. Trembath, Joel T. Moncur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context.—Neoplastic cellularity assessment has become an essential component of molecular oncology testing; however, there are currently no best practice recommendations or guidelines for this potentially variable step in the testing process. Objective.—To describe the domestic and international practices of neoplastic cellularity assessment and to determine how variations in laboratory practices affect neoplastic cellularity assessment accuracy. Design.—Data were derived from 57 US and international laboratories that participated in the 2019 College of American Pathologists Neoplastic Cellularity Proficiency Testing Survey (NEO-B 2019). NEO-B 2019 included 29 laboratory practice questions and 5 images exhibiting challenging histologic features. Participants assessed the neoplastic cellularity of hematoxylin-eosin–stained digital images, and results were compared to a criterion standard derived from a manual cell count. Results.—The survey responses showed variations in the laboratory practices for the assessment of neoplastic cellularity, including the definition of neoplastic cellularity, assessment methodology, counting practices, and quality assurance practices. In some instances, variation in laboratory practice affected neoplastic cellularity assessment performance. Conclusions.—The results highlight the need for a consensus definition and improved standardization of the assessment of neoplastic cellularity. We put forth an initial set of best practice recommendations to begin the process of standardizing neoplastic cellularity assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1071
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume146
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

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