Analytical validity of DecisionDx-SCC, a gene expression profile test to identify risk of metastasis in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients

Sherri Borman, Jeff Wilkinson, Lauren Meldi-Sholl, Clare Johnson, Kelsey Carter, Kyle R. Covington, Alison L. Fitzgerald, Sarah J. Kurley, Aaron S. Farberg, Matthew S. Goldberg, Federico A. Monzon, Kristen Oelschlager, Robert W. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: To improve identification of patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) at high risk for metastatic disease, the DecisionDx-SCC assay, a prognostic 40-gene expression profile (40-GEP) test, was developed and validated. The 40-GEP assay utilizes RT-PCR gene expression analysis on primary tumor biopsy tissue to evaluate the expression of 34 signature gene targets and 6 normalization genes. The test provides classifications of low risk (Class 1), moderate risk (Class 2A), and high risk (Class 2B) of metastasis within 3 years of diagnosis. The primary objective of this study was to validate the analytical performance of the 40-gene expression signature. Methods: The repeatability and reproducibility of the 40-GEP test was evaluated by performance of inter-assay, intra-assay, and inter-operator precision experiments along with monitoring the reliability of sample and reagent stability for class call concordance. The technical performance of clinical orders from September 2020 through July 2021 for the 40-GEP test was assessed. Results: Patient hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained slides were reviewed by a board-certified pathologist to assess minimum acceptable tumor content. Class specific controls (Class 1 and Class 2B) were evaluated with Levey-Jennings analysis and demonstrated consistent and reproducible results. Inter-assay, inter-operator and intra-assay concordance were all ≥90%, with short-term and long-term RNA stability also meeting minimum concordance requirements. Of the 2586 orders received, 93.5% remained eligible for testing, with 97.1% of all tested samples demonstrating actionable class call results. Conclusion: DecisionDx-SCC demonstrates a high degree of analytical precision, yielding high concordance rates across multiple performance experiments, along with exhibiting robust technical reliability on clinical samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalDiagnostic Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Analytic validity
  • Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
  • DecisionDx-SCC
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Metastasis


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