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Melanoma focused gene panel

Also known as: Melanoma panel, BRAF, KIT, NRAS

Test category:

Oncology - Melanoma

Use of test

Purpose:

​Mutations in the BRAF gene are associated with responses to therapy in metastatic melanoma. Mutations in the NRAS and KIT gene have emerging implications for targeted therapy.

Utility:

In metastatic melanoma, the presence of BRAF mutations is associated with increased sensitivity to BRAF and MEK-inhibitor therapy. The absence of such mutations indicates that the patient's tumour is less likely to respond.

Emerging evidence from clinical trials suggests that KIT-mutant melanomas may respond to KIT tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and that NRAS mutant melanomas may be more responsive to immunotherapies and/or MEK inhibitors.

This test can be expanded to a full FIND IT panel.

Ethical considerations:

This is an assay for non-heritable mutations. It does not raise issues of ethics or consent that are different from most other investigations ordered in the routine care of a patient.

Methodology:

Targeted analysis of clinically relevant activating mutations in BRAF codon 600, NRAS codons 12, 13, 59, 61, 117, 146 and KIT exons 11, 13 and 17.

For further details, please refer to the description of the full FIND IT panel.

Requesting the test

Ordering:

This test is usually requested by an oncologist. If ordered by a pathologist, the Medicare rebate may still apply. Please use the specific request form (see link below).

Request form:

Download the somatic mutation request form.

Sample required:

Formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissue (FFPE) - 15 sections of 4 uM thickness, dried overnight at 37°C onto charged/coated slides.

Special instructions:

Please stain the first section with H&E, and label each slide with patient and block identifiers. Label the unstained sections sequentially (slides 2-15). The request should be accompanied by the somatic mutation request form (above) and a copy of the original histopathology report.

Turnaround time:

7 business days from receipt of sections by the testing laboratory.

Price:

This test has a Medicare rebate which, subject to the requirements of the Medicare descriptor being met, may cover all or part of the cost.

Rebate:

The Medicare details, including descriptor and schedule fee, are listed under MBS item 73336.