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Gene Test Increasingly Used for Melanoma Assessment

National survey of dermatologists shows that majority believes panel has clinical, patient benefits

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | April 14, 2021

Dermatologists are increasingly integrating the 31-gene expression profile (31-GEP) test into their melanoma clinical management decisions, according to a study published online March 6 in SKIN.

Justin W. Marson, M.D., from the National Society for Cutaneous Medicine in New York City, and colleagues surveyed 589 dermatologists during two virtual, national dermatology conferences regarding practice demographics and their clinical use and opinion of the 31-GEP test.

According to the researchers, respondents reported that using the 31-GEP test may benefit patients by increasing knowledge and understanding (72.5 percent), personalizing treatment options (58.8 percent), and easing uncertainty about the future (59.7 percent). Clinical benefits cited included identifying true-negative patients in high-risk populations (65.6 percent) or true-positive patients in low-risk populations (70.6 percent), as well as escalating subsequent management if a patient received a 31-GEP Class 2B result for lesions classified as T1 (61.4 percent) or AJCC8 Stage I (59.0 percent). The vast majority of participants (84.9 percent) were "somewhat likely" to "very likely" to use 31-GEP testing for patient management or to recommend this test to a colleague.

"As the 31-GEP test becomes more prevalent in practice, patients may benefit from decreased anxiety and uncertainty from enhanced prognosis, decreased need for unwarranted procedures such as sentinel lymph node biopsy, and optimized allocation of health care resources," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Castle Biosciences, which manufactures the 31-GEP test and funded the study.

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